US air strikes killed 80 IS militants
International Desk: More than 80 Islamic State militants, some of whom were believed to be plotting attacks in Europe, died in US air strikes on camps outside the group’s former North African stronghold of Sirte in Libya, the United States said on Thursday.
‘These strikes were directed against some of ISIL’s external plotters,’ U.S Defence Secretary Ash Carter told a Pentagon briefing, using an acronym for Islamic State, the Syria- and Iraq-based militant group.
‘They certainly are people who ... were actively plotting operations in Europe, and may also have been connected with some attacks that have already occurred in Europe,’ Carter said.
The US attack on Wednesday night was led by two B-2 bombers, which took off from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to carry out a 30-hour round-trip bombing run. They dropped about 100 precision-guided munitions on the camps.
The attack took place 28 miles (45 km) southwest of Sirte, targeting fighters fleeing Libyan forces clearing them from Sirte with support from US air strikes.
Libyan forces finished retaking the city in early December after a nearly seven-month battle in a major blow to Islamic State that left the group without any territory in Libya.