US B-2 bombers have carried out airstrikes against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in the North African country of Libya, killing over 80 terrorists, according to Pentagon officials.
Outgoing US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday that the bombers attacked two Daesh military camps on Wednesday located about 45 km (28 miles) southwest the city of Sirte.
"We need to strike ISIL everywhere they show up," Carter told reporters at the Pentagon on his last day office.
“These strikes were directed against some of ISIL's external plotters, who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe," he added.
In a statement on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook confirmed the US military conducted strikes.
"The ISIL terrorists targeted included individuals who fled to the remote desert camps from Sirte in order to reorganize, and they posed a security threat to Libya, the region, and US national interests," Cook said.
The airstrikes come one month after the United States officially wrapped up military operations in and around Sirte.
The US has also been conducting airstrikes in other countries, including Syria and Iraq, with the stated aim of targeting Daesh but the raids have instead claimed many civilian lives.
Libya has faced a power vacuum since the downfall of its longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country has been grappling with chaos and the emergence of numerous militants, including Daesh Takfiri terrorists, who are concentrated in Iraq and Syria.
The north African country has two rival governments. One is based in the eastern port city of Tobruk and its rival government, backed by the United Nations (UN), is based in Tripoli, the main port city in the western side of the country.
Despite attempts to establish peace and order, stability is yet to be restored in Libya, which is stuck in political strife and violence.