The U.S. military bombed two Islamic State camps in Libya on Wednesday night, targeting militants who fled to the remote area southwest of Sirte to reorganize.
The Pentagon announced the precision airstrikes in a statement Thursday morning, which destroyed the two desert camps 45 kilometers, or 28 miles, southwest of Sirte. The U.S. military is still evaluating the results of the strike, but CNN reported that early estimates put the death toll above 80. The airstrikes were carried out by U.S. B-2 bombers.
"In conjunction with the Libyan Government of National Accord, the U.S. military conducted precision airstrikes Wednesday night destroying two ISIL camps 45 kilometers southwest of Sirte," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement Thursday.
"The ISIL terrorists targeted included individuals who fled to the remote desert camps from Sirte in order to reorganize, and they posed a security threat to Libya, the region, and U.S. national interests," Cook said, using another name for ISIS. "While we are still evaluating the results of the strikes, the initial assessment indicates they were successful."
Outgoing Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters that the airstrikes targeted militants who were "plotting attacks in Europe," according to CNN. The strikes were reportedly approved by President Obama several days ago.
"These strikes will degrade ISIL's ability to stage attacks against Libyan forces and civilians working to stabilize Sirte, and demonstrate our resolve in countering the threat posed by ISIL to Libya, the United States and our allies," Cook said Thursday.