President Obama’s last military orders were to send a cadre of Air Force B-2 bombers and unmanned aircraft to drop over 100 munitions on two remote ISIS training camps in Libya.
“The fighters training in these camps posed a security risk to Libya, to its neighbors, to our allies in Africa and Europe, and to the United States,” explains Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.
The attack, approved a few days ago, targeted two modest camps located about 30 miles southwest of Sirte. The camps were located in a “very rural area,” says cook, and the isolation of the desert gave US surveillance aircraft a rare and clear view of the action.
Officials assure us there were no women, children, or civilians in the area during the bombing.
“These were critically important strikes for our campaign and a clear example of our enduring commitment to destroy ISIL’s cancer not only in Iraq and Syria but everywhere it emerges,” said Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Obama’s decision to approve the strikes reminds us of the ongoing fight against ISIS and the difficulty in locating such an elusive foe. “We are committed to maintaining pressure on ISIL and preventing them from establishing safe haven,” said Cook.
“These strikes will degrade ISIL’s ability to stage attacks against Libyan forces and civilians working to stabilize Sirte, and demonstrate our resolve in countering the threat posed by ISIL to Libya, the United States and our allies.”
Geoff Porter of North Africa Risk Consulting says the attack will also help Libya’s oil sector recover – a necessary accomplishment if the struggling country is to have any revenue whatsoever.
“Since the defeat of the Islamic State in Sirte, Libyan oil production has increased from roughly 500,000 to 750,000 barrels per day. This is largely due to the inability of the Islamic State to threaten upstream, midstream, and downstream oil infrastructure in the Sirte Basin,” explains Porter.
“Targeting Islamic State training camps in the Sirte Basin consolidates the oil production gains made in the last two months and reduces the risk that they will be targeted by the Islamic State again in the future.”