More airstrikes in new Pindo war in Libya
Peter Symonds, WSWS, Aug 3 2016
Pindo airstrikes on the Libyan coast city of Sirte, which began on Monday, continued yesterday as part of what Pindo boxtops have made clear will be an ongoing military campaign. While nominally directed against Daesh militias, the fresh eruption of Pindo militarism is more broadly aimed at ensuring Pindo dominance in the region. Pentagon spox J Davis told the media that Pindostan had hit five locations in Sirte on Monday and two yesterday, targeting tanks, vehicles, a rocket launcher and ISIS positions in the city. According to AP, Marine Corps strike aircraft based on the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship in the Mediterranean, participated in the raids. The UN-backed puppet regime in Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (GNA), gave Washington the fig leaf of its formal approval to conduct the airstrikes. GNA units drawn from various militia groups are currently engaged in an offensive to drive ISIS fighters out of Sirte. Davis declared that the Pindo military was simply assisting the GNA to retake Sirte, saying:
The duration of the operation will be measured based upon the length of time it takes for them to do that objective.
He claimed that the Pindo airstrikes would likely last “weeks not months.” Davis indicated, however, that the commitment to the GNA “absolutely will endure”, even though “for right now” the target was Sirte. Unnamed Pindo officials told Reuters that Monday’s raids marked the start of a sustained air campaign rather than another isolated strike. The previous Pindo airstrikes took place in February on an ISIS training camp in the western city of Sabratha. Faschingstein has been preparing a new military intervention in Libya for months. JCoS Dunford told reporters in late May that a “long term mission” involving thousands of Pindo troops was imminent. The delay has been in securing the GNA’s seal of approval. Speaking to the Military Times, Pindo boxtops would not say whether there were Pindo soldiers on the ground in Libya. However, they did acknowledge that small “contact teams” of SOF had gone into and out of the country in recent months to gather intelligence and forge alliances with local militias. British, French and Italian SOF have also been active in Libya.
While Washington is justifying its new military operations in the name of the “war on terror”, the Pindo-led military intervention in Libya in 2011 is directly responsible for creating ISIS and giving it a foothold in the country. Pindostan and its allies relied heavily on militias linked to AQ to topple the government and murder Gaddafi. The same Islamist militias, along with large quantities of Libyan arms, were then shipped off to take part in the new Pindo-sponsored regime-change operation in Syria. The ISIS forces that seized control of Sirte last year are the Pindo proxies that returned from the bloody Syrian civil war. Pindostan claim to be acting in the name of a legitimate government is a sham. The unelected pro-Western GNA regime headed by Fayez al-Sarraj was patched together out of competing factions as part of an agreement signed just last December with the approval of the UNSC. It was only installed in Tripoli in March. A rival government based in the eastern city of Benghazi is headed by Gen Khalifa Haftar, a long-standing CIA asset who was prominent among the Pindo proxy forces that ousted Gaddafi and is bitterly opposed to the GNA. Yesterday, Ahmed Mesmarri, a spokesman for Hafter’s forces, denounced the Pindo airstrikes, declaring:
Pindostan has no permission, even under the cover of fighting extremism.
A parliamentarian representing the eastern government Abubaker Baira told the WSJ:
Unfortunately all sides of the Libyan conflict happily open their doors to this so-called military or political support, even if covertly, in the hope it will empower them against their domestic enemies.
Like Tripoli, Benghazi is a cesspool of international intrigue. Even though formally recognising the GNA, France has provided support to the Haftar regime along with Egypt and some of the Gulf States. French involvement was graphically exposed last week when Hollande acknowledged that three French security agents had been killed when their helicopter was shot down near Benghazi earlier last month. Yesterday, France attempted to mend relations with Tripoli by declaring its full support for the GNA and its efforts to unify the country. The new Pindo military intervention in Libya takes place amidst rising tensions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe with Russia as well as in the Asia Pacific with China. The airstrikes in Sirte, which are undoubtedly the opening shot of a far broader operation, are not only designed to consolidate Washington’s grip over Libya and its oil fields but are meant as a warning to Moscow and Beijing. The decision to launch a new war was taken behind the backs of the Pindo sheeple with no attempt to secure approval from Congress crittturs. The Obama administration absurdly cited the 2001 AUMF that approved military action against those who had planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks. ISIS not only did not exist in 2001, but is now the sworn enemy of AQ. Obama issued no formal statement on the launching of another war, but made a few perfunctory remarks at a joint press conference yesterday with Singapore’s prime minister. After justifying the 2011 intervention as necessary to prevent a bloodbath, he declared:
(The new military operations are) to begin what is going to be a long process to establish a functioning government and security system there.
In reality, as in Iraq and Syria, the latest front in Pindosi imperialism’s never-ending GWOT will only spell new disasters for the Libyan people as Faschingstein resorts to ever more desperate and reckless measures to secure its economic and strategic interests against its rivals.
Obama says supporting Libya’s fight with Daesh is in Pindo interest
Timothy Gardner, Ayesha Rascoe, Yeganeh Torbati, Mark Hosenball, John Walcott, Jonathan Landay, Reuters, Aug 2 2016
Obama said on Tuesday it is in the Pindo national security interest to support Libya’s emerging government’s fight against Islamic State, a day after his administration said it launched air strikes there. The move marks the opening of a new front by the Pindo administration in the war against Islamic State, which, under added pressure in its Syria and Iraq strongholds, is increasingly resorting to planning attacks abroad. Obama said the air strikes were undertaken to make sure that Libyan forces were able to finish the job of fighting the radical militant group and to increase stability there. Obama told reporters:
Pindostan, Europe and countries around the world have a great interest in seeing stability in Libya because the absence of stability has helped to fuel some of the challenges that we’ve seen in terms of the migration crisis in Europe and some of the humanitarian tragedies that we’ve seen in the open seas between Libya and Europe.
Islamic State’s presence in Sirte has been reduced to a few hundred fighters. A Pindo boxtop said:
The USAF plan to pulverize Islamic State militants through aerial bombardment to deny them the safe haven of Sirte, even though such a strategy risks dispersing the group’s forces to neighbouring countries and beyond, where they may carry out attacks to show they are still a force to be reckoned with.
The Pindo administration’s tactics in Libya are largely a product of the administration’s use of manned and unmanned aircraft against Islamic State, and intended to avoid committing any meaningful level of ground support. There is little public or political support for sending Pindosi ground troops to Libya, which remains deeply divided. The UN-backed government, struggling to assert its authority over the fractured country, has hesitated to call for Pindosi support until now for fear of a public backlash. However, the boxtops said that if Islamic State’s growing external operations branch manages to mount a major terrorist attack in the West,
The administration may end up paying a higher price for this tactic than it would if it had decided to send the support that’s needed to encircle places like Sirte and Mosul (in Iraq) without turning to other groups.
Pindo warplanes so far have conducted strikes on seven targets in and around Sirte over the past two days, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said at a news briefing on Tuesday. The targets included two tanks, an Islamic State fighting position, construction vehicles, military vehicles, a rocket launcher and an excavator. The strikes already have helped Libyan forces gain ground against Islamic State, Davis said. Referring to Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord, he said:
That had really proved to be a menacing problem for the GNA. It was something they had used repeatedly to beat back advances.
The strikes are being carried out by both crewed planes and drones, Davis said, declining to give further details on where the aircraft were based. Some Islamic State fighters have been killed in the strikes, he said, though he declined to give a number.
Obama approves 30-day airstrike mission against ISIS in Libya
Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, Aug 2 2016
President Obama has authorized a 30-day mission for the USAF to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State in Libya as new strikes were unleashed Tuesday, Fox News has learned. Marine Corps Harrier jets launched from the Navy amphibious assault ship USS Wasp conducted at least two airstrikes against ISIS targets in the coastal city of Sirte on Tuesday. USS Wasp is set to remain off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea for the next month along with an escort ship, the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney. The USAF has launched at least seven airstrikes in total since the campaign began Monday. Speaking at the White House Tuesday, Obama explained:
At the request of their government, after they had already made significant progress against ISIL, and had essentially pushed ISIL into a very confined area in and around Sirte, it is in our national security interests in our fight against ISIL to make sure that they’re able to finish the job.
Pentagon spox Cap J Davis told reporters:
This is a finite period of time and a very finite mission. We don’t envision this as being something that’s going to be too long. Today’s strikes destroyed an ISIS rocket launcher and a heavy equipment excavator. Three Harrier jets and two unmanned Reaper drones conducted yesterday’s strikes, destroying two ISIS T-72 tanks, two other vehicles and an ISIS fighting position.
While President Obama’s authorization to strike ISIS in Libya was limited to Sirte, Davis said they reserved the right to conduct counter-terrorism strikes elsewhere in the country as they did in November and February. Pentagon spox P Cook said on Monday that the number of ISIS fighters in Sirte was under 1,000. When asked by Fox News how the number of ISIS fighters had decreased so rapidly in Libya, Davis said:
It’s a combination of factors. Some have been killed and others have changed allegiances. They have decided ISIS was not all that it was cracked up to be and have moved on to something else.
In February, the Pentagon began flying armed drones over Libya from Sigonella. Fox News is told the drones used in Monday’s ISIS strikes did not originate from there, but likely from a drone base in Africa (Djibouti – RB). USS Wasp is the flagship of a flotilla of Navy ships carrying thousands of Pindo Marines, part of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Camp Lejeune, NC. They are expected to move from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf eventually. Aboard USS Wasp are Marine Cobra attack helicopters, Harrier jets and CH-53 transport helicopters to take Marines ashore should they be needed. Italy’s foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said Tuesday:
Italy will evaluate any Pindo request to allow use of the Sigonella base in the airstrike campaign. I believe that it’s a very positive fact that the Pindos have decided to intervene. The extremists are concentrated in four or five compounds, but it won’t be easy to eradicate them. The strikes send a very strong message not only against terrorism, but also for the stabilization of Libya. 90% of migrants in Italy come from Libya, and this is the reason why we are so keen on its stabilization.
In February, Italy agreed to let armed Pindo drones take off from Sigonella but only to defend Pindo forces targeting ISIS extremists. Italy has stressed that it won’t let Sigonella be used for offensive purposes. Italy has insisted Libya must request any anti-ISIS airstrikes, which Libya’s UN-brokered unity government did in the case of Sirte. Its long coastline on the Mediterranean’s southern shore serves as a base for smuggling operations that have launched boats with hundreds of thousands of refugees toward Italy over the last few years. The Libyan coast is more than 300 miles from southern Italy.
Pindostan Says New Bombing Campaign Against ISIS in
Libya Has No “End Point at This Particular Moment”
Alex Emmons, Intercept, Aug 1 2016
Pindostan launched a major new military campaign against ISIS on Monday when USAF planes bombed targets in Libya, responding to requests from the UN-backed Libyan government. Strikes took place in the coastal town of Sirte, which ISIS took in June of last year. The strikes represent a significant escalation in Pindostan war against ISIS, spreading the conflict thousands of miles from the warzones in Syria and Iraq. All of these attacks took place without Congressional authorization or even debate. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said:
We want to strike at ISIL anywhere it raises its head. Libya is one of those places. [The airstrikes] will continue as long as [the Libyan government] is requesting them, [without] an end point at this particular moment in time.
Pindostan has long planned to spread its military campaign to Libya. In January, JSoC Dunford told reporters that Pindostan was preparing to take “decisive military action against ISIL” in Libya. Glenn Greenwald responded with a post headlined “The Pindostan Intervention in Libya Was Such a Smashing Success That a Sequel Is Coming.” The NYT editorial board called the plan “deeply troubling” and said it represented a “significant progression of a war that could easily spread to other countries on the continent.” The NYT supported the Pindostan’s initial intervention in Libya in 2011, when Pindostan led a NATO air campaign to oust Gaddafi. But after a mob raped and murdered Gaddafi, the country plunged into years of anarchy and militia rule. Obama would later call his failure to plan for Gaddafi’s removal his “worst mistake,” and thousands of ISIS fighters have since gained a significant foothold in the country.
At the Pentagon press briefing on Monday, when Nancy Youssef of the Daily Beast asked Cook if the war is legal, Cook responded by citing the 15-year-old AUMF resolution passed in the wake of 9/11. It authorizes military force against organizations that “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sep 11 2001.” But the resolution has been invoked, first by Bush 43 and then by Obama, to justify military action in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and numerous other countries. The administration has argued that the 2001 AUMF applies to the war against ISIS, even though ISIS and AQ are sworn enemies. Several Congress critturs, including Hillary Clinton’s running mate Sen Tim Kaine have argued that the administration should seek congressional authorization to continue its war against ISIS. Such authorizations for the conflict have failed to gain traction in a divided Congress.
Even without the AUMF, it’s unlikely that the White House would have acknowledged any legal barrier to bombing Libya. In 2011, Pindostan continued its Libyan campaign even after Congress rejected a resolution to authorize it. The White House even delivered a report to Congress that argued that the Pindo-led bombing campaign did not count as “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution. That resolution limits unauthorized conflicts to 180 days. While emphasizing that Pindostan is “prepared to carry out more airstrikes,” Cook could not confirm basic details about Monday’s operation. When Cook was asked if he had a “ballpark figure” of casualties from the airstrikes, he responded “I don’t.” In the past year, Pindostan has also conducted a handful of individual military strikes against ISIS targets in Libya. In February, Pindostan carried out an attack near the coastal city of Sabratha, aiming to take out ISIS operative Noureddine Chouchane. Cook described the attack as “very successful,” but a day later, the Serbian government announced that two kidnapped members of the Serbian diplomatic staff had died in the bombing.