Statement by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa O. Monaco on the Successful Operation to Liberate Sirte from ISIL

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa O. Monaco on the Successful Operation to Liberate Sirte from ISIL

The United States congratulates the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan people on their successful operation to liberate Sirte from ISIL. The United States is proud to have supported the advance of the GNA-aligned forces into Sirte with precision airstrikes to eject ISIL from the only city that it controlled outside of Iraq and Syria.

We applaud the courage of the Libyan people, including the residents of Sirte, al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces, and others, who carried out this operation.  We commend Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj for his leadership and dedication to the Libyan people.  We also extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives fighting for this important cause.

The U.S. military conducted a carefully tailored counterterrorism operation, at the request of the GNA, to target ISIL while taking great care to minimize harm to civilians.  This partnered operation has substantially reduced ISIL’s manpower in Libya, ended its brutal reign over Sirte’s population, and removed its primary base in Libya, dealing a blow to its ability to plot attacks in Libya and abroad.  This progress comes as Libyans mark one year since the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement.

We know that ISIL will continue its attempts to terrorize the Libyan people and sow instability in North Africa, and that Libyan efforts against terrorism continue in other parts of Libya.  We stand ready to help the GNA as it secures and rebuilds Sirte.  The United States also remains committed to working with the GNA, Libyans throughout the country, and regional partners to counter ISIL and other violent extremist organizations.