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>> The Pentagon, on Monday, taking its battle with Islamic State to a new front in Libya. US war planes for the first time bombing ISIL targets in Sirte, the group's most important base outside of Iraq and Syria. Reuters foreign policy reporter Yara Bayoumy.>> So Islamic State, right now, controls a few kilometers within Sirte.
And so, with the help of this new US campaign as well as the forces of the government of national accord. The expectation is to try and wipe out all of Islamic State's gains in Sirte.>> It's the first US campaign against ISIS in Libya since an attack on a training camp early in the year.
Islamic State used the chaos after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi to seize Sirte last year. But beyond one strip of coastline they have struggled to make further gains.>> The battle against them in Libya is important, especially now, because we are seeing that there has been concerted campaigns against the Islamic State in Iraq.
There was an expectation that possibly we would see Islamic State Militants flee to another stronghold where they may have capacity and where they may have territory where they're not coming under pressure. And so, to deny them that additional stronghold would be a key advance against defeating the group.
>> Both Libyan and US officials say the air strikes are open-ended. But for now, limited to Sirte and the surrounding areas.