US expands its secret drone war to Libya to hunt 'al-Qaeda'

03:05 PM | 26 Mar, 2018
US expands its secret drone war to Libya to hunt 'al-Qaeda'
BENGHAZI - Extending its covert drone war against terrorists to a South African country, the US military launched first ever drone attack in southern Libya and killed two militants, who reportedly had links with Al-Qaeda.

The American army, which had earlier been targeting terrorists of Islamic militant since US President Donald Trump took office, on Saturday fired a drone at a house in Ubari, 435 miles south of Tripoli, to hit the militants.

A photo circulating on the media show a mutilated bodies lying under the rubble of the razed house. The killed were later identified by a spokeswoman as belonging to Al-Qaeda’s branch in northwestern Africa.

The targeted region remains in the light due to the notorious sanctuaries of Al-Qaeda and other extremist outfits operate in Algeria, Niger and other areas.

In a statement, the military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the strike was launched with the assistance of the United Nations-backed unity government in Tripoli, targeting militants belong to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an affiliate.

The strike was conducted as part of efforts to “disrupt and destroy terrorist organizations,” the statement said, adding that the purpose was “to deny terrorists freedom of action and degrade their ability to reconsolidate.”

According to New York Times, Ubri's seminomadic tribesmen are heavily involved in the smuggling of weapons, drugs and illegal migrants through the lawless deserts of southern Libya.

Some have allied with Islamist militias, including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates across Algeria, Mali, Niger and Libya.