US takes Libya off the list of zones with loose rulers for drone strikes

The Obama administration has removed the former IS stronghold in Libya, Sirte, from a list of combat zones where United States counter-terrorism drone strikes are authorized without obeying special rules intended to prevent civilian deaths, officials said on Friday, reported the New York Times.

“The change means that as Donald Trump’s presidency begins, the United States is targeting Islamist militants in three known “areas of active hostilities,” where strict guidelines to protect civilians do not apply: Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. For much of 2016, there was a fourth: The region around Sirte, Libya.” The New York times added on Friday.

According to The New York Times, between August and December, the US military said it had carried out 435 airstrikes to drive out IS from Sirte, a campaign called Operation Odyssey Lightning. It concluded the campaign on Dec. 19.

Sirte has been completely freed by the forces of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous appointed in May by the Government of National Accord’s Presidential Council, headed by Fayez Al-Serraj.

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