CAIRO (Reuters) - The U.S. military denied on Thursday taking part in a raid on an al Qaeda site in the Libyan city of Ubari, contradicting a statement by a Libyan official.
The spokesperson for Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Presidency Council of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord of Libya, said in a statement late on Wednesday that a site with a number of al Qaeda members in Ubari was “raided” by joint U.S.-Libyan forces.
“This joint work between the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord and the US Government coincided with the meeting of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Mohamed Sayala at the Global Coalition To Defeat Islamic State meeting last week”, spokesperson Mohamed El Sallak said in the statement.
But U.S. Africa Command, which is responsible for American troops in the area, said that although the United States supports what is describes as counterterrorism efforts of the U.N.-recognized Libyan government, U.S. forces were not involved in the raid.
“U.S. Africa Command was not involved in the reported raid of an al-Qaeda site in Ubari, Libya, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019,” it said in a statement. “U.S. Africa Command has not conducted any air strikes in Libya in 2019.”
Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali in Brussles; Writing by Mohamed Elsherif; Editing by Sandra Maler