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US Launches Airstrikes Against Daesh in Libya at Government's Request

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The United States has carried out airstrikes against Daesh terrorists in Libya at the request of the local government of national accord, the Pentagon said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US military has conducted airstrikes against Daesh in Libya at the invitation of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Pentagon spokesperson Michelle Baldanza said in a statement on Monday.

"Today, at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), the United States military conducted precision air strikes against ISIL [Daesh] targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL [Daesh] in its primary stronghold in Libya," Baldanza said.

US President Barack Obama authorized US military airstrikes against Daesh positions near Libya’s Sirte, US Department of Defense spokesperson Peter Cook said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj announced that the US military conducted strikes against Daesh targets near the Mediterranean city of Sirte at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord.

"These strikes were authorized by the president [Obama] following a recommendation from [Defense] Secretary [Ashton] Carter and [Joint Chiefs of Staff] Chairman [Joseph] Dunford," Cook stated.

Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government patrol the entrance of Sirte as they advance to recapture the city from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on June 10, 2016 - Sputnik International
Creation of United Army Against Daesh Main Task for Libya - UN Envoy
Additional airstrikes will continue to target Daesh in Sirte to allow the GNA to make a strategic advance against the terror group’s positions there, Cook noted.

The spokesperson explained that the Libyan government forces have already recaptured some territory from Daesh around Sirte.

Libya has been in a state of civil unrest since May 2014. The United Nations helped to bring about a ceasefire in late 2015. On March 31, the UN-backed Government of National Accord took office in Tripoli.

Daesh, which is outlawed in the United States, Russia and many other nations, gained a presence in Libya in the years since leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

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