U.S. forces remain at the ready to fight Islamic State militants in Libya, even after the fall of the terrorist group's last remaining stronghold in Sirte and the apparent conclusion of U.S. airstrikes.
Since Aug. 1, the U.S. military has conducted hundreds of precision air strikes against ISIS to support the United Nations--backed Libyan Government of National Accord and their battle against the extremist group.
"Yes, it is still underway," U.S. Africa Command spokeswoman Robyn Mack confirmed in an email Wednesday. "In coordination with the GNA, we are continuing to monitor Sirte and its environs and are providing support as necessary to enable the final clearance of the city."
The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the Amphibious Ready Group Wasp has already departed the Mediterranean Sea and will return to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, next week after concluding its six-month float aboard the Amphibious Ready Group Wasp.
Over the last few months, the 22nd MEU's AV-8B Harriers and AH-1W Super Cobras from the Wasp and San Antonio provided close air support to friendly ground troops in the Libyan coastal city.
Speaking at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter officially announced the clearing of Sirte and the conclusion of U.S. airstrikes.
But fears remain that ISIS militants, although decapitated, retain a strong presence in Libya with militants dispersed through the country.