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US strike rekindles debate over Trump plans for Libya

Barack Obama made a show of battling the Islamic State in conjunction with Tripoli's UN-backed unity government. Will the new president drop the GNA for an anti-Islamist strongman?
A member of Libyan forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar holds a weapon as he sits on a car in front of the gate at Zueitina oil terminal in Zueitina, west of Benghazi, Libya September 14, 2016. Picture taken September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori - RTSNU2U

As he's done several times since last summer, Barack Obama, in one of his final acts as president this week, ordered a bombing raid against Islamic State (IS) militants "in conjunction" with Tripoli's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The raid on militants who were fleeing the former IS stronghold of Sirte reportedly killed more than 80 fighters and sent a clear message on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration that the Pentagon is fully committed to the fight against the terrorist group. Just as significantly, the Pentagon's statement highlighting the GNA's role reminded the incoming administration that the United States has a Libyan partner in that fight.

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