The US needs to do more to combat the growth of ISIS in Libya, and more help is needed from the broader international community to ensure the group does not get a larger foothold in Northern Africa, the top US officer overseeing Africa said. Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of US Africa Command, told the Senate Armed Services committee on Tuesday the US and partner countries must take “vigorous action” to block the growth of ISIS in Libya. “The spread in Libya continues to be a challenge because of the lack of governance, as well as the break up of the military and multiple militias on the ground,” Rodriguez said. The Air Force has struck inside Libya, including the Feb. 19 strike on an ISIS training camp near Sabratha. The Pentagon has submitted a plan to combat ISIS in Libya by conducting a “barrage” of airstrikes on as many as 40 targets, The New York Times reported. (See also: Expanding Operations in Libya)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.