49 killed in US strike on ISIS camp in Libya
American warplanes hit an ISIS camp in Libya where foreign fighters had been engaged in advanced training, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.
Noureddine Chouchane, a senior operative in the terrorist group from Tunisia, was believed to be among those from around Africa and the Middle East who had converged on the site, Earnest said. It was not immediately clear whether Chouchane was killed, Earnest said.
Chouchane is thought to have played an instrumental role in two terrorist attacks in Tunisia last year, one at Tunis’ Bardo Museum that killed 23 people and another at a seaside resort in Sousse that left 38 people dead. ISIS claimed responsibility for both massacres.
Friday morning’s U.S. strike in the al-Qasser district in Sabratha, a coastal city in northwestern Libya where most residents are from Tunisia, killed at least 49 people, Hussain al-Thawadi, the Mayor of Sabratah, said.
Al-Thawadi told Libya TV in an interview the death toll could rise because more people might still be under the rubble. He said the house was rented by suspected ISIS members and he believed more than 60 people were inside it when it was hit.
Also six people were wounded, according to the Sabratha Municipal Council.
A Libyan man started to expand the house in Sabratha to several levels last year, security officials in the city said. He had brought in several groups of fighters over the past few months, including one batch two days ago. That house was struck Friday.
Over the last several weeks, the United States observed militants moving around the site and undergoing what appeared to be special training, according to a U.S. official.
“This was outside the normal training camp scenario,” the official said.
The activity raised concerns the people there might be planning to launch an external attack, though no details were discovered about where or when this might take place.
Al-Thawadi described the site as an ISIS recruitment base for foreigners, mostly from Tunisia. He said a Jordanian woman was among the dead.
The U.S. military has launched hundreds of airstrikes against ISIS targets over the past two years. These have been concentrated in Iraq and Syria, where the Islamist extremist group has established its biggest foothold and has its de facto capital in Raqqa.
But Libya — a North African nation that’s been in turmoil, and a hotbed for some militant groups, since a 2011 revolution that toppled its longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi — has been in its crosshairs as well.
this occurred a few days ago but its significant enough to warrant posting..the bombers are returning to libya..
democracy hasnt really arrived in libya..what a surprise..
“Libya — a North African nation that’s been in turmoil, and a hotbed for some militant groups, since a 2011 revolution that toppled its longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi”
they forget to mention the constant bombing attacks from NATO during that period..which propped up the “revolution”..