The Pentagon is investigating claims that two Serbian captives were killed in an airstrike on an ISIS training camp in Libya on Feb. 19. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday two Serbian embassy staffers, who were taken captive in November, were killed in the strike. Vucic said US officials were unaware that foreign citizens were in the compound, according to The Associated Press. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a Feb. 20 statement that the Defense Department has no information confirming the claims. “Our forces watched this training camp for weeks leading up to the operation, and at the time of the strike there were no indications of any civilians present,” Cook said. Defense Department spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, speaking during a Monday briefing, said intelligence showed the camp would contain up to 60 fighters, and that they were training for external attacks. Due to the location and nature of the strike, it would not be possible to go to the site and make an accurate count of those killed, Davis said. The Pentagon said on Friday the main target of the strike was Tunisian national Noureddine Chouchane, who planned the March 2015 attack on a Tunisian museum. The Defense Department is working with Serbia to investigate the claims, and is providing as much information as possible, Davis said.
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.