Reuters: Egypt’s air force bombed Islamic State targets inside Libya on Monday, a day after the group released a video showed the beheading of 21 Egyptians there, marking an escalation in Cairo’s battle against militants.
It was the first time Egypt confirmed launching air strikes against the group in neighbouring Libya, showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is ready to expand his fight against Islamist militancy beyond Egypt’s borders.
Egypt said the dawn strike, in which Libya’s air force also participated, hit Islamic State camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in Libya, where civil conflict has plunged the country into near anarchy and created havens for militia.
A Libyan air force commander said between 40 to 50 militants were killed in the attack. “There are casualties among individuals, ammunition and the (Islamic State) communication centres,” Saqer al-Joroushi told Egyptian state television.
“More air strikes will be carried out today and tomorrow in coordination with Egypt,” he said.
Reuters also reports Egypt has once again called for the formation of an international coalition to fight ISIS in Libya. Meanwhile, Libya’s Tripoli-based parliament strongly condemned Monday’s airstrikes.