On Monday the U.S. launched air strikes against the remaining Islamic State (IS) positions in the center of their last stronghold in Libya Sirte. Obama said Tuesday that the attacks were in the U.S. national security interests.
|The attacks are intended to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces against the Islamic State. The forces, Al-Bunyan Al Marsoos (Solid Structure or BAM) are composed mainly of brigades from the city of Misrata. The IS has been encircled in an area of about 5 square miles in the center of Sirte. Progress has been quite slow recently after earlier rapid advances. IS is putting up fierce resistance with suicide vehicle attacks, snipers and IEDs. Obama said that the strikes were undertaken to ensure that the Libyan forces would be able to finish defeating the IS in Sirte and increase stability in Libya. It is not clear how the attacks will increase stability since the split between the two rival governments remains even when the IS is defeated.|