U.S. warplanes bombed Islamic State targets in the Libyan city of Sirte in support of government forces looking to retake the coastal city.
The re-entry into war in Libya marks the seventh country where U.S. military assets have engaged the enemy: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Libya.
Do they give a prize for biggest warmonger?
The U.S. airstrikes came at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord, or GNA, to support forces trying to quash ISIS in its primary stronghold in Libya, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said. The GNA is Libya’s U.N.-backed unity government.
“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,” Cook said, using another acronym for ISIS.
“The U.S. stands with the international community in supporting the GNA as it strives to restore stability and security to Libya. These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies.”
The White House said President Barack Obama authorized the airstrikes at the recommendation of Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
“The President’s been clear that he will deny any safe haven for groups like ISIL or any group that tries to do us harm,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “The strikes you’ve seen are consistent with that approach.”
It was not immediately clear how many ISIS militants or structures may have been hit.
Aside from Iraq and Syria, ISIS’ presence in Libya “is probably the most developed and the most dangerous,” CIA Director John Brennan recently told Congress.
And Libya’s proximity to Europe could compound the problem.
“We assess that (ISIS) is trying to increase its influence in Africa and to plot attacks in the region and in Europe,” Brennan said.
You don’t need to be a soothsayer to know what would be happening in America if the president’s name was Bush rather than Obama. They would be marching by their hundreds of thousands, singing songs about peace and brotherhood, while calling on President Bush to be tried as a war criminal.
Today’s news about the president’s expansion of the war against ISIS into Libya only brought out a collective yawn on the left and a low-key response in the media. Do they realize the hypocrisy they’re demonstrating? At war in seven countries is easily the most conflict the U.S. has seen since World War II. And yet, the “anti-war” crowd is proving to be not very anti-war at all.
The president’s scattershot strategy against ISIS doesn’t appear to be well coordinated. But perhaps in spite of this, the Islamic State is being pushed out of their strongholds in Iraq and Syria and for the moment, appears to be in retreat. But the biggest challenges are yet to come as the Iraqi government prepares to try and retake Mosul and Syrian forces look to recapture Raqqa.
In the meantime, for a guy who said “war is not the answer,” he sure is playing fast and loose with American military assets.