U.S. airstrike in southern Libya kills 17 people

Smoke rising after a U.S. airstrike in Sirte, Libya.  (Photo: AFP)

Tripoli, September 30 (RHC)-- At least 17 people have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in southern Libya in the third such air raid in the North African state in a little more than a week.  The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) claims Daesh terrorists were targeted by the airstrike.

These U.S. airstrikes over the last eight days are the first in Libya in over a year.  An earlier U.S. air raid had killed 11 on Tuesday, and a September 19th attack killed eight.  The U.S. military says all those killed were affiliated with Daesh militants.

The United States has been carrying out such airstrikes in several Muslim countries under the pretext of fighting militant groups.  In a Friday statement, the AFRICOM said it did not believe that the recent attack left any civilian casualties, but reports on the ground indicate that civilians are usually the main victims of such attacks.

The Libyan Government of National Accord, based in the northwest of the country, is currently fighting forces led by Khalifa Haftar, a strongman and U.S. citizen who rose to prominence in the northeast of the country amid the civil war that followed the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The recent U.S. airstrikes, however, have been confined to the sparsely-populated southwest, away from the conflict between Haftar and the Government of National Accord.


Edited by Ed Newman


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