Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rubble from the offensive against ISIS in Libya. (Photo: AP)

Rubble from the offensive against ISIS in Libya. (Photo: AP)

Contradicting Prior Claims, Pentagon Admits US Forces on the Ground in Libya

'There is no war authorization for this,' peace group notes

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The Pentagon confirmed this week that U.S. forces are indeed on the ground in Libya as the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) continues.

A "small number of U.S. forces have gone in and out of Libya to exchange information with these local forces in established joint operations centers, and they will continue to do so as we strengthen the fight against [ISIS] and other terrorist organizations," Deputy Defense press secretary Gordon Trowbridge said Wednesday.

The news comes just days after the U.S. launched new airstrikes in Libya, centering largely around the strategic port city of Sirte, on August 1. At the time, defense officials claimed there were no troops on the ground supporting the bombings.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that "U.S. Special Operations forces are providing direct, on-the-ground support for the first time to fighters battling the Islamic State in Libya," quoting U.S. and Libyan officials.

Although Trowbridge denied those reports on Wednesday, he clarified that the forces "are not on the front lines," but instead providing "unique capabilities" such as "intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision strikes."

Meanwhile, civilians reportedly remain skeptical that the presence of foreign troops will help at all. The Tripoli Post reports:

Observers in and outside Libya remain pessimistic as to the American direct military intervention in Libya which they believe will only deepen instability and brings more violence to the country.

They cite the ongoing destruction, killing and instability that foreign intervention has brought to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

And as Win Without War noted on Twitter, quite simply, "There is no war authorization for this."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

MSNBC Declines to Voluntarily Recognize Newsroom Union Effort

Organizers said that "we want to support one another and make this an even better place to build a career."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


Sanders Speaks Out Against 'Dangerous' Chorus Pushing for New Cold War With China

"Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with China will not be easy," the senator writes. "But we can do better than a new Cold War."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Indigenous Women Invite Deb Haaland to See Devastation of Line 3 for Herself

The tar sands project "poses a significant threat to water, Indigenous treaty rights, and worsens the global climate crisis," the group wrote to Biden's Interior Secretary.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


After SCOTUS Upholds ACA, Progressives Set Sights on Medicare for All

Now, said campaigner Michael Lighty, "we can instead go to a system that will actually guarantee healthcare to everybody, which the ACA does not do and cannot do."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


McConnell Makes Clear 'All Republicans Will Oppose' Manchin Voting Rights Compromise

"The idea that Manchin can pass a law to protect the vote with help from the very people it needs protecting from is suspect at best."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·