- Libya forces said Sunday they would soon launch a final assault to retake the coastal city of Sirte from the ISIS group.
“The countdown of the final stage of the military operations against ISIS has started,” forces loyal to the Tripoli-based national unity government said in a statement.
“The operation’s leaders held intensive meetings to prepare for the final and decisive battles to eradicate the ISIS gang from the city of Sirte,” they said in a statement.
A Sunday post on the operation’s Facebook page showed a photo of men in uniform examining a map of the city, which the militant group seized in June 2015.
Fighters allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) have waged a fierce weeks-long battle to retake the city some 450 km east of Tripoli.
Pro-GNA forces launched the campaign in May and entered the city in June, but their progress slowed down as the militants hit back with sniper fire, suicide attacks and car bombings.
Since Thursday pro-government forces have sought to reach Daesh headquarters at the Ouagadougou conference center inside the town.
The United States have since Monday been carrying out air raids on Daesh positions in Sirte at the GNA’s request.
Six US air strikes on Saturday targeted an Daesh position, killing a sniper and destroying a vehicle, pro-GNA forces said.
More than 300 people have been killed and 1,800 wounded in the operation for Sirte, according to medical sources in the city of Misrata, where the operation’s command center in based.
Daesh took advantage of the chaos that followed the 2011 toppling of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi to gain a foothold in the oil-rich North African country.ist called Abu Doaa al-Ansari and a number of his top aides in addition to more than 45 terrorist elements”.
The statement said dozens of others were “targeted with precise hits” in the joint operation against strongholds of the group south and southwest of the Sinai city of El-Arish.
The operation destroyed depots where weapons, ammunition and explosives were stashed, it said.
El-Arish is the provincial capital of North Sinai where the terrorists are active.
Despite the a massive military campaign to uproot IS from Sinai, the terrorists have kept up the attacks with roadside bombs and ambushes in the eastern peninsula.
Most of the group’s attacks have targeted security forces but they have also attacked Egyptian Christians and tourists.
The group claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from an Egyptian resort last year, killing all 224 people on board.
source : abna24