Defense secretary Ash Carter has confirmed that American B-2 bombers and drones attacked a pair of ISIS training camps overnight while Iraqi forces are consolidating control over eastern Mosul after more than two years of ISIS occupation. Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin has more from the Pentagon.
The U.S. military, taking the fight to ISIS in North Africa… B-2 stealth bombers, taking out two ISIS training camps near the Libyan city of Sirte last night… drones also launched hellfire missiles, killing a handful of ISIS fighters fleeing by foot. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says more than 80 militants were killed in the operation.
“Ihese strikes were directed against some of ISIL’s external plotters, who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe.”
The airstrikes could be president Obama’s last use of force as Commander in Chief as he tries to eliminate the ISIS threat from Libya, but there’s also speculation that the use of B-2 bombers – instead of more conventional jets – could be an attempt to send a message to adversaries like Russia and China.
“If there’s a message sent to terrorists around the world, so be it. And it demonstrates the capabilities of the United States, the ability for us to reach anywhere in the world.”
Meanwhile, in Mosul, Iraqi troops are preparing for the assault on western Mosul after gaining full control over the eastern half of the city. But anti-ISIS allies are warning — the threat to other countries will only increase as the militants are dislodged from their strongholds.
“Some of the fighters from Al-Mosul was pushing up to the north, to the Al-Kaem and the Abu Kamal, we are expecting some of them to come to Jordan.”
The US military has conducted almost 500 airstrikes in Libya since August. There’s no word yet on whether president-elect Trump will continue the air campaign when he takes office.
At the pentagon, Jennifer Griffin, Fox News.