US airstrikes target ISIS camps in Libya

Feb 20, 2016, 09:07 IST | Agencies

The air raids killed more than 40 people, including ISIS top operative linked to two attacks in Tunisia

Washington: A US air strike targeting an Islamic State training camp in Libya “likely” killed an IS operative linked to two major jihadist attacks in Tunisia last year, a US defence official said yesterday. “The US conducted an air strike yesterday morning against an ISIS training camp near Sabratha, Libya, that likely killed ISIS operative Noureddine Chouchane,” the official said.

The US-led coalition has been bombing ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria for the past 18 months. Representative pic/AFP

Chouchane is suspected of being behind two ISIS-claimed assaults. The first, in March, saw an attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 21 tourists and a policeman. In July, an attack on a beach resort near the Tunisian city of Sousse killed 38 tourists — including 30 Britons.

Libyan officials said yesterday’s dawn raid killed more than 40 people, but the US defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, could not immediately confirm the number.

The US-led coalition that has been bombing ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria for the past 18 months has come under increasing pressure to expand its operations beyond those two countries. While the campaign has seen some successes in Iraq and Syria, IS jihadists have expanded their presence in Libya and established a stronghold in the Mediterranean coastal town of Sirte.

$500 mn ISIS cash destroyed
US airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria have reportedly destroyed more than USD 500 million cash reserves and 20 kilogrammes of gold stored by the terror group. The estimate comes amid reports that the terror group is facing cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, slashing the perks and salaries of its fighters across the region.

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