US Air Strike Kills Libya IS Head

US Air Strike Kills Libya IS Head

The Pentagon says that a US air strike has killed the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya.

Iraqi national Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, was a "longtime al-Qaeda operative and the senior ISIL leader in Libya", it said, using another acronym for IS.

The air strike took place on Friday night.

The Pentagon said the strike demonstrated that it would "go after ISIL leaders wherever they operate".

News agencies have quoted US officials saying they are confident Nabil was killed.

"Nabil's death will degrade Isil's ability to meet the group's objectives in Libya, including recruiting new Isil members, establishing bases in Libya, and planning external attacks on the United States," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said, using a different name for the group.

He said the operation had been authorised before terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday evening that IS claimed responsibility for.

Cook added that Nabil may have been the IS spokesman pictured in a February 2015 video showing  the apparent murder of Coptic Christians In Libya.

Libya remains in chaos four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, and is being fought over by a number of groups, including IS.

It has launched high-profile attacks in the mostly lawless North African country, and gained a foothold in key towns and cities, including Sirte.

The strike on Nabil was the first against an IS leader in Libya, the Pentagon said.

Reuters quoted an eyewitness who said the strikes occurred in areas controlled by IS militants in Derna's south-east suburb of Fattayah.

 

Related news

Gambia's authoritarian president, Jammeh loses after 22 years

Gambia's authoritarian president, Jammeh loses after 22 years

Gambia's authoritarian president, Jammeh loses after 22 years