US aircraft continued to strike ISIS targets in Sirte, Libya, as fighters with the group changed tactics to try to stop momentum by troops allied with the Libyan Government of National Accord. US aircraft on Aug. 17 hit 13 ISIS fighting positions and one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Sirte, bringing the total number of airstrikes under Operation Odyssey Lightning to 62 since the Libya bombing campaign began on Aug. 1. ISIS this week used suicide bombers to hit Libyan pro-government forces, killing at least 10 troops with two car bombs, according to The Associated Press. GNA troops have encircled and put increased pressure on ISIS fighters in Sirte, the last ISIS stronghold in the country. The US air campaign against the group aims to deny the terrorist organization a safe haven in Libya “from which it could attack the United States,” according to the release.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.