US bombers flew from Missouri and killed 80 Islamic State fighters in Libya
WASHINGTON — U.S. warplanes struck Islamic State encampments in Libya overnight, killing more than 80 terrorists and destroying their makeshift training camps near Sirte, a town the group once dominated, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday.
“These strikes were directed against some of [the Islamic State group’s] external plotters who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe,” Carter said on his last day in office. “These were critically important strikes for our campaign … against [the terrorist group] everywhere it exists.”
U.S. Africa Command recommended two Air Force B-2 stealth bombers carry out the strikes because of their ability to loiter over a target and deliver dozens of precision munitions against a target, Carter said.
The bombers flew 34 hours from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and hit the two camps simultaneously, dropping more than 100 munitions, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. The bombers were accompanied by armed MQ-9 drones and assisted by special operators to target the desert encampments about 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte, where last month Libya’s Government of National Accord, with the assistance of American airpower, drove out the remnants of the Islamic State group. The UN has recognized the GNA as Libya’s proper governing body.
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