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Why did the US really bomb Libya?

Does the strike on a neighboring terrorist haven signal a new commitment to the Arab Spring’s golden child Tunisia?
Tunisian police officers guard the entrance of the National Bardo Museum in Tunis March 19, 2015. Tunisia said it would deploy the army to major cities and arrested four people on Thursday after militant gunmen killed 20 foreign tourists visiting the national Bardo museum, the worst attack on the north African country in more than a decade. REUTERS/Anis Mili - RTR4U1T3

The Feb. 19 airstrike on an apparent Islamic State (IS) training camp near Sabratha isn’t the precursor to a sustained American air campaign in Libya, US officials have made clear.

Instead, the pre-dawn bombing that killed some 40 suspected terrorists near the border with Tunisia appears to be better understood as a one-off operation aimed at protecting that fledgling democracy from militants who would plunge it into chaos. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the strike aimed to take out Tunisian national Noureddine Chouchane, a prime suspect in the 2015 attacks that killed 60 people in Tunis and Sousse, along with a camp where foreign fighters were training for possible “external attacks on US interests in the region.”

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