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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It's Bombs Away for the USA in Libya


It's Bombs Away for the USA in Libya

Almost guaranteed to spread more misery across No
August 3, 2016
The United States returned to aerial bomb Libya. The target is Islamic State (IS) positions in the north-central city of Sirte. IS has held Sirte and its surrounding areas since last year. Sirte is the birthplace of Muammar Qaddafi, who was also killed there. After the fall of the Qaddafi government, this central Libyan town languished. It had become the playground of the Libyan Dawn – the militia of the town of Misrata, led by Salah Badi – and later the Libya Shield Force of Benghazi. The latter had close ties to al-Qaeda and is now part of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries. When the Islamic State attacked Sirte last year, the various militias had little incentive to stay. They delivered the city to the Islamic State and withdrew to their own hometowns. Attempts to erode the Islamic State by other militias and armies have thus far failed.
The US military says that it will continue to conduct bombing raids on IS positions as long as necessary. While there are US Special Operations troops in Libya, they are not engaged in this action. The Government of National Accord (GNA) – led by Fayez al-Sarraj – invited the United States to bomb the Islamic State. The GNA’s attempt to defeat the Islamic State on the ground has stalled after some rapid movement into the city. Aerial bombardment by the United States, it is hoped, will refocus the GNA troops towards their objection – the seizure of Sirte from the Islamic State.

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