Despite the growing threat from the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Libya, the Obama administration has turned down a U.S. military plan for an assault on ISIS’s regional hub there, three defense officials told The Daily Beast.
In recent weeks, the U.S. military—led by its Africa and Special Operations Commands—have pushed for more airstrikes and the deployment of elite troops, particularly in the city of Sirte. The hometown of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the city is now under ISIS control and serving as a regional epicenter for the terror group.
The airstrikes would target ISIS resources while a small band of Special Operations Forces would train Libyans to eventually be members of a national army, the officials said.
Weeks ago, defense officials told The New York Times that they were crafting military plans for such strikes, but needed more time to develop intelligence so that they could launch a sustained air campaign on ISIS in Sirte.