Following Sunday’s US airstrikes in central Libya, the first in President Trump’s term in office, a new round of strikes has taken place in roughly the same area, 100 miles southeast of Sirte, in a desert area where multiple factions are accused of being present.
Details on the new strikes are scant, though African Command (AFRICOM) confirmed the strikes had killed “several” people. They had no identities, but suggested they were all suspected jihadists, either from ISIS, al-Qaeda, or something else.
This has been a recurring issue in US airstrikes in places with few to no ground troops, as they rely on very questionable targeting intelligence. In this case, AFRICOM claimed it was a “joint operation” with Libyan forces.
AFRICOM claimed the strike was necessary because militants are taking advantage of “ungoverned spaces.” This region targeted is in the middle of the desert, and would be scarcely governed in the best of times, but totally impossible to control for Libya, with multiple governments, none of them controlling much more than a couple of cities.