"It's about time. Forces loyal to the Libyan government have long sought more U.S. military assistance to stop the spread of Islamic State, and U.S. generals have supported it. Mr. Obama has resisted for reasons that are hard to understand, unless the President simply hasn't wanted to publicly acknowledge that the terror group has expanded its reach," writes the Wall Street Journal.
"If the use of American air power is sustained, the Sirte campaign would open a new chapter in the Obama administration's war against the Islamic State and its campaign to establish a caliphate across a wide swath of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. While U.S. and allied war planes have been conducting strikes for two years in Iraq and Syria, its actions against the group's Libya affiliate, which officials have described as its most powerful branch, have been limited to a small number of targeted airstrikes since last year," write Missy Ryan and Sudarsan Raghavan in the Washington Post.
"American officials, who estimate that there are fewer than 1,000 Islamic State fighters in Surt, say that American warplanes could provide a decisive advantage to the attackers and help break the stalemate along the fighting fronts in the southern and western part of the city. But they also say that the Islamic State's modest numbers in Surt belie their determination, if not desperation, and that with escape routes from Surt largely cut off, the Islamic State fighters may fight to the death," writes Helene Cooper in the New York Times.