US Airstrikes South of Sirte Kill 17 ISIS Fighters
On 22 September, the US conducted an airstrike on an ISIS camp in the desert valleys about 150 miles south-east of Sirte, reportedly killing 17 ISIS fighters and destroying 3 vehicles. US Africa Command (Africom) said the strikes were carried out by armed Reaper drones flying from a base in Sicily. Reda Eissa, a spokesman for the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Misrata-led al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) coalition said he had no information about the airstrikes. Interestingly, the Libyan National Army (LNA) also said that it conducted airstrikes against ISIS targets near Sadada, west of Sirte, on the same day.
Africom officials said that ISIS used the camp to move fighters in and out of the country, stockpile weapons and equipment and plot and conduct attacks, adding that, “ISIS and al-Qaida have taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Libya to establish sanctuaries for plotting, inspiring and directing terror attacks.” Africom also praised the GNA and their aligned forces for being valued partners against terrorism. This is the first US airstrike against ISIS under Donald Trump’s presidency.