by James Holbrooks, Underground Reporter:
On Wednesday, it was reported that Libyan militia groups supportive of the GNA, the Government of National Accord — the interim government installed by the United Nations — had, with the help of the United States via airstrikes that began August 1, retaken the northern city of Sirte.
“Pro-government Libyan militias backed by American airpower,” wrote the New York Times, “said Wednesday that they had seized the Islamic State’s last stronghold in the country, in the seaside city of Surt.”
The Times went on to say that “If confirmed, the capture would be a severe blow to the militant organization’s expansion into North Africa, and extend the string of territorial retreats it has suffered this year in Syria and Iraq.”
Last Monday, the Pentagon announced that the U.S., at the request of the GNA, had begun a campaign of precision airstrikes targeting ISIS fighters in Libya. The strikes, according to Press Secretary Peter Cook, were approved by President Obama in order “to enable the GNA to make a decisive, strategic advance” in the chaos that is Libya since the U.S. intervention in 2011.
Last week, Underground Reporter proposed an alternative theory, that the new campaign — which, according to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford’s own assessment, comes at a time when ISIS has been weakened in North Africa — is far less about combatting terrorism and far more about preventing the rise of another Gaddafi-led regime in Libya.
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