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Pentagon Prepared to Extend Airstrike Campaign in Libya

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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The Pentagon said on Monday that it is willing to continue its airstrike campaign in Libya targeting remnants of ISIS fighters if the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) approves the offer.

“If additional air strikes are needed, we will be prepared to deliver those airstrikes,” said Peter Cook, spokesperson for the Pentagon, at a press conference.

The US began its military campaign in Libya on August 1 following a request by the GNA for military aerial support. So far the US has launched more than 360 air strikes.

The Libyan brigades loyal to the GNA, many of them from Misrata, launched an offensive against ISIS in Sirte in May. The Libyan forces were constantly stalled by ISIS suicide bombs, car bombs, landmines and booby traps. As a result, the GNA made the request for military support, however, refuses to allow any foreign troops to fight on the frontlines.

ISIS moved into Sirte, which had about 80,000 residents, in 2015 claiming dominance over the Libyan coastal city. ISIS had aims to expand its domain across Libya and eventually to Europe.

The terrorist group was able to make its way into Sirte after Libya fell into political chaos following the 2011 uprising that brought down the Gaddafi regime.

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