U.S. begins air strikes against Islamic State in Libya

SIRTE, Libya, Aug. 2 (UPI) — U.S. forces have begun air strikes against the Islamic State in Libya, the Pentagon said Monday.

The air strikes are being carried out Islamic State positions in the port city of Sirte at the request of the United Nations-backed government in Libya, the Pentagon said.

In a televised speech, Libyan PM Fayez Sarraj told his country the strikes caused “heavy losses.”

The United States carried out previous strikes in February and November. Monday’s strike was the first in coordination with Libya’s unity government.

“We hope these airstrikes can be conducted over a short amount of time and that [Libyan] forces will be able to move even faster in terms of removing [the Islamic State] from that area,” said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

Serraj was grateful for American air strikes in the battle against the Islamic State, but also warned against overstepping bounderies.

“We repeat from here our rejection of interference by any nation or attempts to violate Libya’s sovereignty.”

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