American intervention in Libya (2015–present)

American intervention in Libya
Part of the International campaign against ISIS and the Second Libyan Civil War
Date15 November 2015—present (2 years, 9 months, 2 weeks and 1 day)
LocationLibya
Status

Ongoing

  • ISIS presence minimized
  • Thousands of targets destroyed
  • Continued civil war
Belligerents

 United States

Libya

 United Kingdom

Islamic State in Libya

  • Wilayah al-Tarabulus
  • Wilayah al-Fizan
  • Wilayah Barqah
Commanders and leaders

Donald Trump
Barack Obama (until 2017)

Fayez al-Sarraj
Al-Mahdi Al-Barghathi

Abu Nabil al-Anbari  

Abu Hudhayfah al-Muhajir
Strength
unknown unknown
Casualties and losses
1 killed 1,000+ fighters killed

Since 2015 the United States has carried out a large series of both airstrikes and drone strikes to assist Libya in its revived conflict in support of the Government of National Accord against the Islamic State presence in the region.[1]

Derna airstrike

On 15 November 2015, the US launched an airstrike in Derna, Libya killing senior ISIS leader Abu Nabil al-Anbari.[2] Abu Nabil formerly led operations in Iraq alongside al-Qaeda from 2004 to 2010.[3] This marked the first time United States military action was used against ISIS outside of Syria and Iraq. This was concurrent to the Battle of Derna.

February air raid

On 19 February 2016, the United States conducted a large series of bombings in Sabratha.[4] The United States had claimed that ISIS training camps were the target. The strike killed Noureddine Chouchane, a Tunisian resident who was blamed for having links to the 2015 Sousse attacks in Tunisia.[5] The Pentagon later released a statement in which it claims that the intention was to weaken the chances of ISIS continuing the construction of new training camps and the ability to recruit new members.[6]

Operation Odyssey Lightening

On 2 August 2016 The Pentagon released a statement that the United States would begin to collaborate with Libya's GNA in an effort to free the city of Sirte from Islamic State affiliated groups that had captured the city in March 2015.[7] The United States assured that this was done under the request of the Libyan government and that it was necessary to enable the Libyan forces to have strategic advantages for the offensive. The operations begsn a day before the announcements with precision airstrikes around Sirte.[8]

The United States continued airstrikes and military support from August to December.[1][9]

Originally the Libyan forces were to lead the offensive, while support provided by U.S AV-8B Harrier jets and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters striked militant strongholds inside the city. However, according to American field commanders, the GNA forces became “overwhelmed” attempting to enter Sirte and had become desperately in need of heavier support. The US granted then granted fighter jets permission to use defensive weapon strikes against militants.[10]

On 6 December 2016, Libyan forces and US Special Forces had officially liberated the city of Sirte.[11]

January airstrikes

Through January 1–2, 2017, the US attacked multiple ISIS training camps west of Sirte. B-2 Spirit bombers were used for the bombing raids,[12] which killed more than 80 militants.[13] The strikes were intended to target senior members and external plotters. About 100 munitions were dropped on the camps.

Timeline of operations

2015

2016

  • February 19 — 43-49 ISIS fighters killed in airstrikes.[6]

Start of Operation Odyssey Lightning

  • August 1 — U.S airstrike targets a T-72 tank, T-55 tank, two military support vehicles, and two pieces of heavy engineering equipment. An enemy position was also hit.
  • August 2 — The U.S strikes a pick up truck destroying a mounted recoilless rifle as well as heavy engineering equipment.
  • August 3 — U.S strikes one pickup truck with mounted recoilless rifle.[14]
  • August 4 — 2 trucks are hit in an air strike.[15]
  • August 6 — 2 enemy fighting positions are targeted.
  • August 7 — 3 resupply trucks hit.
  • August 8 — 11 fighting positions targeted as well as one truck.
  • August 9 — One pick up truck targeted.
  • August 10 — 5 supply trucks including one rigged with an improvised explosive device, as well as 10 enemy fighting positions.
  • August 11 — 2 enemy vehicles and 5 fighting positions hit.
  • August 13 — One enemy vehicle destroyed.
  • August 14 — 4 enemy positions targeted.
  • August 15 — 4 enemy positions targeted as well as one supply truck.
  • August 16 — 6 vehicles hit including 4 mounted with improvised explosive devices (IED) as well as 7 fighting positions.
  • August 17 — 13 fighting positions hit as well as an IED vehicle.
  • August 18 — 3 fighting positions, a supply truck and an IED vehicle hit.
  • August 19 — 2 supply trucks and 2 fighting positions.
  • August 20 — 15 enemy positions targeted.
  • August 21 — 8 enemy positions targeted.
  • August 22 — 10 enemy positions as well as a supply truck targeted.
  • August 23 — 1 enemy fighting position hit.
  • August 24 — 11 enemy positions targeted including an IED vehicle.
  • August 26 — 2 enemy positions hit.
  • August 27 — One IED vehicle as well as a suspected IED position targeted.
  • August 28 — 6 enemy positions as well as an IED vehicle hit.
  • August 29 — 16 enemy positions as well as an IED vehicle hit.
  • August 30 — 5 enemy positions as well as one IED vehicle hit.
  • August 31 — 5 enemy positions, an IED vehicle and a weapons cache destroyed.
  • September 1 — 9 enemy positions hit.
  • September 2 — 1 enemy position hit.
  • September 3 — 11 enemy positions hit.
  • September 4 — 4 enemy positions hit.
  • September 5 — 5 enemy positions as well as an IED vehicle destroyed.
  • September 6 — 6 enemy positions hit.
  • September 7 — 2 enemy positions as well as an IED vehicle destroyed.
  • September 8 — 3 enemy positions hit.
  • September 9 — 2 enemy positions as well as IED vehicle destroyed.
  • September 10 — 9 enemy positions as well as a resupply vehicle destroyed.
  • September 11 — 9 enemy positions hit.
  • September 12 — 3 enemy positions as well as 2 vehicles targeted.
  • September 13 — One enemy position hit.
  • September 14 — 6 enemy positions as well as an IED vehicle hit.
  • September 15 — IED vehicle destroyed.
  • September 18 — 9 enemy positions hit.
  • September 20 — 7 fighting positions hit.
  • September 21 — 3 trucks hit including an IED rigged vehicle.
  • September 22 — 8 enemy positions and an IED vehicle destroyed.
  • September 23 — 4 enemy targets hit.
  • September 24 — One resupply zone neutralized.
  • September 28 — Resupply zone neutralized.
  • September 29 — Armored truck destroyed.
  • September 30 — 7 fighting positions as well as an IED vehicle.
  • October 1 — 6 enemy positions hit.
  • October 2 — 69 enemy positions, a command and control facility, an operations facility, and 2 IED vehicles neutralized.
  • October 3 — 27 enemy positions hit.
  • October 4 — 3 IED vehicles targeted.
  • October 5 — 11 enemy positions.
  • October 7 — 17 enemy positions and a resupply route targeted.
  • October 8 — 60 enemy positions hit.
  • October 9 — 51 enemy positions hit.
  • October 10 — 23 enemy positions hit.
  • October 11 — 22 enemy positions hit.
  • October 12 — 28 enemy positions hit.
  • October 13 — 16 enemy positions hit.
  • October 14 — 60 enemy positions hit.
  • October 15 — 18 enemy positions hit.
  • October 16 — 11 enemy positions as well as an IED vehicle hit.
  • October 17 — 2 enemy positions hit.
  • October 18 — 10 enemy fighting positions hit.
  • October 21 — 2 enemy positions and 2 IED vehicles hit.
  • October 22 — One enemy fighting position.
  • October 23 — 3 enemy fighting positions hit.
  • October 24 — 5 enemy positions hit.
  • October 25 — 5 IED vehicles destroyed.
  • October 26 — 5 IED vehicles destroyed.
  • October 31— 33 enemy positions, one storage facility, and 2 IED vehicles targeted.
  • November 8 — 9 enemy positions hit.
  • November 10 — 14 enemy positions and one IED vehicle hit.
  • November 11 — 2 IED vehicles destroyed.
  • November 12 — 14 enemy fighting positions hit.
  • November 13 — 17 enemy positions hit.
  • November 15 — 4 enemy positions hit.
  • November 18 — One enemy position hit.
  • November 19 — 6 enemy positions hit.
  • November 21 — 47 enemy positions hit.
  • November 22 — 29 enemy positions hit.
  • November 23 — 14 enemy positions hit.
  • November 24 — 24 enemy positions hit.
  • November 25 — 14 enemy positions hit.
  • November 26 — 30 enemy positions hit.
  • November 27 — 24 enemy positions hit.
  • November 28 — 14 enemy positions hit.
  • November 29 — 8 enemy positions hit.
  • November 30 — 14 enemy positions hit.
  • December 1 — 3 enemy positions hit.
  • December 2 — 22 enemy positions hit.
  • December 3 — 49 enemy positions hit.
  • December 5 — 7 enemy fighting positions hit.

End of the Operation Odyssey Lightning

2017

  • January 18–19 — US B-2 bombers target and neutralize 80-90 ISIS affiliates.
  • September 22 — 6 strikes on an ISIS camp killing over 17 militants and destroying 3 vehicles.[16]
  • September 26 — Multiple ISIS militants targeted during precision strikes.
  • November 17 — One airstrike on ISIS affiliates.[17]
  • November 19 — 2 airstrikes near Fuqaha.[18]

2018

  • March 30 - First airstrike conducted against AQIM. The strike kills "two al Qaeda terrorists, including Musa Abu Dawud, a high ranking al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) official."[19]

See also

References

  1. 1 2 "Libya: international airstrikes and alleged civilian casualties".
  2. Kate Brannen; Nancy A. Youssef (14 November 2015). "U.S. Kills Leader of ISIS in Libya" via www.thedailybeast.com.
  3. Pengelly, Martin; Stephen, Chris (14 November 2015). "Islamic State leader in Libya 'killed in US airstrike'". The Guardian.
  4. Elumami, Ahmed. "U.S. air raid hits Islamic State in Libya, 43 dead".
  5. Stephen, Chris; Ackerman, Spencer (19 February 2016). "US airstrikes target Islamic State militants in Libya". the Guardian.
  6. 1 2 "Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Libya Airstrike".
  7. "Libya effort named 'Operation Odyssey Lightning'". 2 August 2016.
  8. "Counter-ISIL operation moves into Libya". 1 August 2016.
  9. "Libyan unity forces fight IS in Sirte". www.enca.com.
  10. "Providing freedom from terror: RPAs help reclaim Sirte".
  11. Amara, Hani. "Libyan forces clear last Islamic State holdout in Sirte".
  12. Schmitt, Eric; Gordon, Michael R. (8 April 2018). "U.S. Bombs ISIS Camps in Libya" via NYTimes.com.
  13. Ali, Idrees. "U.S. strikes in Libya kill more than 80 Islamic State fighters".
  14. "United States Africa Command". www.africom.mil.
  15. "United States Africa Command". www.africom.mil.
  16. "US conducts more air strikes against Islamic State in Libya".
  17. "US drone strike kills ISIS militants in central Libya desert - The Libya Observer". www.libyaobserver.ly.
  18. "The US conducted another drone strike targeting ISIS in Libya on Sunday near Fuqaha, Libya, officials tell CNN. Sunday's strike follows a similar US strike on Friday in the same area - Map of news of Libya conflict - libya.liveuamap.com". Map of news of Libya conflict - libya.liveuamap.com.
  19. Browne, Ryan. "US conducts first airstrike against al Qaeda in Libya".
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