A pair of B-2 "stealth" bombers blasted two ISIS training camps in Libya on Wednesday evening, dropping 108 precision-guided bombs and sending jihadists scattering -- many of whom were then "cleaned up" by drone-launched hellfire missiles, U.S. defense officials told Fox News. The assault killed an estimated 85 terrorists at the camps, which were about 30 miles southwest of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte. President Obama authorized the action. Most of the terrorists targeted had escaped Sirte after extensive military actions there. U.S. drones "cleaned up" the operation by launching hellfire missiles that killed a several of ISIS fighters trying to run to safety.
President Obama is expected to extend the bombing campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya for a second time, three U.S. military officials with knowledge of the request tell Fox News. The decision authorizes the U.S. military to launch a third month of airstrikes against ISIS in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte. Airstrikes began Aug. 1 following a request from the Uited Nations-backed government in Tripoli. At the time, the Pentagon said the Libya mission would likely last "weeks, not months." Extending the bombing campaign for another month in Libya means the Navy will have to keep two warships off the coast of Libya for up to a third consecutive month, according to defense officials.
A pair of B-2 "stealth" bombers blasted two ISIS training camps in Libya on Wednesday evening, dropping 108 precision-guided bombs and sending jihadists scattering -- many of whom were then "cleaned up" by drone-launched hellfire missiles, U.S. defense officials told Fox News. A B-2 Spirit taking off Wednesday from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to support the bombing campaign. The assault killed an estimated 85 terrorists at the camps, which were about 30 miles southwest of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte. Many of the fighters were "actively plotting operations in Europe," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a news conference Thursday. President Obama authorized the action.
The U.S. dropped an average of three bombs an hour in 2016 -- a total of 26,171 explosive devices dropped in seven countries in the past year, a report found. The report published last week comes at the close of President Barack Obama's second term as he prepares to hand power over to his successor, Donald Trump. "This estimate is undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single'strike,' according to the Pentagon's definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions," a statement on the report by New York-based independent think tank Council on Foreign Relations read. The report said Washington dropped a total of 24,287 bombs on Syria and Iraq alone during Obama's final year in office. Other countries that the U.S. bombed include Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.
Recruits belonging to Somalia's al Shabaab are seen near Mogadishu. The Pentagon announced in a statement Thursday there are now "more than" 500 US troops on the ground in Somalia. A significant increase from early 2014 when roughly two dozen troops arrived for the first time since 1993 and the Black Hawk Down incident. US Africa Command says there have been 28 airstrikes this year, mostly from drones against al-Shabaab, long considered the greatest terror threat in Africa. At a press conference Thursday at the Pentagon, a top defense official denied any "ramp-up."