US Africa Command Director of Public Affairs Colonel Chris Karns said four airstrikes this year had killed 25% of the ISIS terrorists remaining in Libya, “where ISIS forces had been gathering in camps and recruiting new fighters.”
In an interview with Voice of America, Karns said the US wanted to make sure that threat did not grow, adding that the US would continue to monitor the situation to prevent Libya from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.
“Since US forces were relocated in April, we’ve continued to watch and monitor the situation in Libya. Our concern was that with the civil war, these terrorist groups, in particular ISIS, would look to leverage this opportunity to grow, to recruit, to train and create additional chaos in a situation that is already chaotic.” Karns explained.
He indicated that when the opportunity presented itself — and this was through careful observation by US forces — there were instances where US forces saw a regeneration of the ISIS capability as they were gathering in camps, where they were doing some of the basic training and starting to do some of the recruiting.
“So we wanted to make sure that threat did not grow. And consequently, airstrikes were conducted. Four this year.” He remarked.
The Colonel that ISIS militants’ number is under 150 as 43 ISIS fighters have been taken out of Libya permanently.
“We will look to continue to monitor the situation, and we just do not want Libya to become a laboratory for ISIS to feel that they have safe haven and take advantage of a difficult situation.” He explained.