This content is not available in your region

US says senior ISIL commander probably killed in Libya airstrike

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
US says senior ISIL commander probably killed in Libya airstrike

<p>US officials say it’s likely that a senior <span class="caps">ISIL</span> commander – linked to major attacks in Tunisia last year – was killed in air strikes on Libyan soil that destroyed a suspected training camp run by the self-styled Islamic State early on Friday.</p> <p>Around 30 to 40 recruits died in the bombing, according to reports quoting sources in the area.</p> <p>The base at Sabratha west of Tripoli was linked to <br /> Nourredine Chouchane – also known as “Sabir” – a Tunisian blamed for attacks on the Bardo Museum in Tunis and a beach resort near Sousse which left 60 people dead.</p> <p>The Pentagon said <span class="caps">ISIL</span> posed a direct threat to the United States and needed to be confronted wherever it surfaced.</p> <p>“We took this action against Sabir and the training camp after determining that both he and the <span class="caps">ISIL</span> fighters at these facilities were planning external attacks on US and other western interests in the region,” said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. “As you know, this is not the first time we have taken direct action in Libya or against other high-value <span class="caps">ISIL</span> targets, and it may not be the last”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Statement on Libya Airstrike on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ISIL?src=hash">#ISIL</a>. Strike demonstrates we will go after <span class="caps">ISIL</span> using full range of tools available <a href="https://t.co/P8S3Nvs7YB">https://t.co/P8S3Nvs7YB</a></p>— Peter Cook (@PentagonPresSec) <a href="https://twitter.com/PentagonPresSec/status/700687834496180224">February 19, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The US fighter jets that carried out the raid took off from an <span class="caps">RAF</span> base at Lakenheath in Suffolk, southern England.</p> <p>Despite the destruction of the <span class="caps">ISIL</span> camp at Sabratha, there’s alarm in the West that <span class="caps">ISIL</span> is expanding its control into Libya, with many Tunisians joining the jihadists’ ranks.</p> <p>Senior <span class="caps">ISIL</span> fighters are said to have recently moved to Libya from Iraq and Syria. Libya has slid further into chaos since its former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown five years ago, with two rival governments operating, backed by rival factions of former rebel brigades.</p>