B-2 Strikes Kill at Least 85 ISIS Fighters in Libya
On Wednesday evening, two B-2 Bombers from Missouri flew nonstop for 30 hours, and dropped 103 bombs on two ISIS camps not far from Sirte, Libya.
Even though formidable air power was available closer to Africa, US Africa Command chose the bombers for the way they can “loiter” near their target. Ash Carter also mentioned he wanted to send a message to Russia and China because the B-2 is a nuclear capable aircraft. The bombers refueled at least 5 times in the air, and never landed or stopped from start to finish.
As the jihadists scattered from the bombs, a drone launched Hellfire missiles to finish the job.
U.S. Africa Command recommended two Air Force B-2 stealth bombers carry out the strikes because of their ability to loiter over a target and deliver dozens of precision munitions against a target, Carter said.
The bombers flew 34 hours from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and hit the two camps simultaneously, dropping more than 100 munitions, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. The bombers were accompanied by armed MQ-9 drones and assisted by special operators to target the desert encampments about 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte, where last month Libya’s Government of National Accord, with the assistance of American airpower, drove out the remnants of the Islamic State group. The UN has recognized the GNA as Libya’s proper governing body.
The assault killed an estimated 85 terrorists at the camps, which were about 30 miles southwest of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte. Many of the fighters were “actively plotting operations in Europe,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a news conference Thursday.
Immediately prior to the attack, the militants were seen in formation carrying weapons and mortars and wearing tactical vests.
Sirte was a hotbed of ISIS activity for some time. In the “Battle of Sirte,” which lasted several months. The GNA, Libyan government, US-Backed forces declared the city liberated on December 18, 2016. By then, most of the city was destroyed and at least 230 militants were dead. ISIS moved into two camps about 30 miles away.
Of course until the arrival of two B-2 bombers loaded for bear.
P.S. – this mission cost $8.8 Million for the 2 bombers together. Not counting the cost of the precision bombs or the Hellfire missiles and drones.