US Africa Command (AFRICOM) launched 4 aerial attacks over the course of 10 days in southern Libya, killing 43 ISIS fighters in total. In a statement on 30 September concerning the airstrikes, AFRICOM stated, “Our pursuit of ISIS-Libya and other terrorist networks degrades their ability to effectively conduct operations against the Libyan people.” It added that it was coordinating its activities with the Government of National Accord (GNA). Below are details of each of the aerial attacks.
- On 29 September, AFRICOM conducted an airstrike in southern Libya killing 7 ISIS fighters.
- On 27 September, AFRICOM conducted an airstrike targeting a fleeing ISIS group in the Indian Complex in Sebha southern suburb, killing 17 people.
- On 24 September, AFRICOM conducted an airstrike against Libya-ISIS group at a farm hideout southern Jizzawo village, 30 kilometres east of Murzuq, killing 11 fighters.
- On 19 September, AFRICOM claimed to have killed 8 ISIS-Libya fighters in the vicinity of Murzuq.
AFRICOM is yet to confirm the identity of any notable ISIS-Libya figures eliminated during the four airstrikes. Unverified reports claims ISIS-Libya recruiter and former Wali of Wilaya Barqa, Malik al-Khazmi (aka Abu Ibrahim) was the target of the strikes and possibly killed. Mahmoud al-Barasi (aka Abu Musab al-Libi), also known as Houda, previously the Emir of Benghazi and now thought to be ISIS-Libya’s Emir, was initially suspected to have been killed in the most recent bout of aerial attacks, multiple reports suggest this is false. Unconfirmed reports also suggest another ISIS-affiliate figure, Ali al-Darnawi, nicknamed Abu Hamza al-Tebawi, may have been killed in the aerial attacks.
On 30 September, the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) Khalid Ibn al-Walid Battalion clashed with ISIS fighters between Qatroun and Um al-Aranib in southern Libya. Eight ISIS fighter were reported killed. It has been suggested that the ISIS group are those fleeing the Murzuq area following AFRICOM attacks.