BALTIMORE (WJZ) — At the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), the U.S. military conducted precision airstrikes today against Islamic State targets in Sirte, Libya, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a news release.
The airstrikes — authorized by President Barack Obama following a recommendation from Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — were in support of GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIS in its primary stronghold in Libya, Cook said.
The strikes “are consistent with our approach to combating ISIL by working with capable and motivated local forces,” according to Cook.
“GNA-aligned forces have had success in recapturing territory from ISIL thus far around Sirte, and additional U.S. strikes will continue to target ISIL in Sirte in order to enable the GNA to make a decisive, strategic advance.”
CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reports that, until four to five months ago, the U.S. had been unwilling to strike in Libya before a government was in place.
Over the past six weeks, forces fighting for the so-called GNA began moving into the ISIS stronghold at Sirte, on the central coast.
“They’ve been having real success,” Brennan said of the Libyan forces, “and the U.S. had been looking for ways to help them.”