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20 January 2017, 12:46 | Ella Tate
US B-2 Bombers Strike ISIS Camps Near Sirte, Libya: Officials
US bombers carried out airstrikes on ISIS camps in Libya overnight, defense officialssaid Thursday, part of an operation targeting militants driven out a year ago from their coastal stronghold.
In the most recent attack, the US targeted terrorists who fled from Sirte to remote desert camps "to reorganize, and they posed a security threat to Libya, the region, and USA national interests", Cook said.
"This certainly dealt a significant blow to ISIL's presence in Libya", Cook said.
Together with the interim Libyan government, the bombers destroyed two Islamic State camps 45km southwest of Sirte, according to the air force. He said the targets "may also have been connected with some attacks that have already occurred in Europe".
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, took Sirte, the former hometown of deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi, in March 2015 as it collected territory across the Middle East in Libya, Iraq and Syria.
Two B-2 bombers were used in the strike, and staged from Whiteman AFB in Missouri.
Outgoing US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said the numbers were based upon initial estimates while adding that the strikes "were directed against some of [Daesh's] external plotters, who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe".
"Of note, the B-2's last combat deployment was in March 2011 as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn when three B-2s struck the Libyan air force on the ground as part of the global response to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya" Capt. Mark Graff, Air Force Spokesperson, said in a written statement.
The spokesman showed surveillance video at one of the camps where he described ISIL members as moving equipment such as homemade bombs and shells. On December 20, the USA declared a successful end to the bombing.
The Pentagon portrayed Wednesday night's airstrikes as a mop-up effort emanating from the Sirte campaign, suggesting that the United States bombardment went unfinished.
"We are committed to maintaining pressure on ISIL and preventing them from establishing safe haven", he said. They still posed a security threat to Libya, the region, and USA national interests, he said.
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