By Kyle Richardson |Staff Writer|
The war on ISIS has shifted to Libya, as American forces released militant air strikes on the coastal city of Sabratha.
The U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Libya has shifted the war on the Islamic extremist militants from Iraq and Syria, 2,000 miles west to the North African nation.
According to Time, local officials estimated that more than 40 people were killed.
The death toll could rise because it is possible that more people are still under the rubble. It is believed more than 60 people were inside the ISIS training facility when it was hit, according to CNN.
Medium-caliber weapons including machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades had been found in the rubble of the house that had been rented to foreigners, including Tunisians suspected of belonging to ISIS, according to Yahoo News.
“I am for the air strikes,” said student and U.S. Navy veteran James Glenn.“This issue doesn’t necessarily need boots (on the ground), but this is a problem that should involve the world, it should involve the United States.”
The airstrike was aimed towards an ISIS training camp, which was said to be led by senior ISIS leader Noureddine Chouchane, according to Military Times.
Chouchane was one of the suspects behind an attack on a Tunisian beach that killed 38 tourists, back in July 2015 and a museum shooting which left 23 dead.
U.S. aircraft, manned and unmanned, carried out the airstrike mission which was based out of Europe, according to Military Times.
This was the second airstrike aimed towards ISIS extremists in Libya. The first was back in November 2015, aimed at the coastal city of Derna, east of Benghazi.
That airstrike resulted in the death of senior ISIS commander Abu Nabil al-Anbari, according to Time.
It is estimated by American officials that the extremist group has grown to as many as 6,500 fighters in Libya, which made it possible to capture the 150-mile stretch of coastline, according to the New York Times.
“With respect to Libya, I have been clear from the outset that we will go after ISIS wherever it appears,” President Barack Obama said in Time, “the same way that we went after al Qaeda wherever they appeared.”
What has driven the ISIS extremists into Libya is that former dictator Muammar Gaddafi that ruled that nation with an iron fist for 40 years, repressed insurgencies, though, he was removed from power 5 years ago by the U.S. and NATO, according to Time.
This resulted in Libya becoming a broken country with two different political fronts, one internationally recognized regime based in Tobruk in eastern Libya, and another in Tripoli, the capital in the west, according to Military Times.
Libya’s civil war has opened its doors to extremists groups like ISIS and ISIL to enter the war torn country, according to Time.
“Countries that are directly involved should be doing more for their country, but I’ve seen that they are not capable of taking action and some just won’t take any action,” said Glenn.
“Their culture affects it (corruption, terror, death, radicalism), our culture has always stood up and said no,” Glenn concluded.