The United States Africa Command has formally announced the conclusion of its campaign against ISIS affiliates in Libya. Sirte, Libya is considered to be the terrorist group’s final foothold in North Africa. Last week, ISIS forces were reportedly driven from the city. Africa Command issued an official statement reading:
“In partnership with the Libyan Government of National Accord, the operation succeeded in its core objective of enabling GNA-aligned forces to drive Daesh (ISIS) out of Sirte.”
U.S. warplanes first intervened on August 1, 2016 when the Pentagon launched Operation Odyssey Lightning. Since then, over 495 airstrikes against militant vehicles and positions have been carried out. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters:
“We are proud to have supported this campaign to eliminate ISIL’s hold over the only city it has controlled outside Iraq and Syria.”
U.S. military officials have stated that they will continue to assist local forces in striking ISIS militants at the request of the Libyan unity government. On Saturday Fayez al-Sarraj, the unity government leader, said that military operations in Sirte have ceased. He went on to say that ISIS is maintaining a presence in Libya, referencing a suicide attack that took place in Benghazi.