Libya: US Boots Assist GNA Forces against ISIS
US military ground forces are helping the allied militiamen of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, the largely circulated Washington Post reports.
The Pentagon announced last week it took military actions against IS at the request of the GNA, which has launched its anti-IS campaign since May.
The Washington Post, citing US officials who asked not be named, indicated on Tuesday that some commandos were working from a joint operations center on the outskirts of Sirte.
The US ground warriors are reportedly operating alongside British troops and are helping to coordinate American airstrikes and provide intelligence to partner forces.
The Pentagon has not made any comments about the revelations but acknowledged that some US special forces have been in Libya to share and gather intelligence with Libyan counterparts.
A group of US military were spotted near Benghazi but did not take part in the fighting between the Libyan National Army and IS militants, reports say.
British and French troops have also been reported present in Libya. In May British troops were reportedly fighting alongside GNA forces of Misratra’s Third Force. They neutralized two IS suicide car bombings.
French President Francois Holland last month confirmed the death of three French military officers in the East of Libya as they were on an intelligence-gathering mission. They died in a helicopter crash.
The US, France, UK and several Western countries have thrown their support behind the GNA, tasked with repairing war-torn Libya. The oil-rich country slipped into chaos following the killing of Col. Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed revolution in 2011.
IS group took advantage of rivalries between different camps to conquer parts the Libyan territory including Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte which they captured last year.