News ID: 171057
Published: 1029 GMT October 27, 2016

Internationally-backed Libyan forces attack Daesh positions in Sirte

Internationally-backed Libyan forces attack Daesh positions in Sirte

Libyan forces have launched a fresh offensive against Daesh positions in the Mediterranean port city of Sirte.

On Thursday, fighters from the nearby city of Misrata, allied with forces of the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, were pushing their way through the last pockets of resistance in the city’s Ghiza Bahriya District.

They were supported by tanks and armored vehicles during the renewed offensive.

“Bonyan Marsous forces and the Libyan army forces are advancing onto Ghiza Bahriya to free it ... The Bonyan [forces] have been advancing in Ghiza Bahriya and thank God there have been no causalities so far, there are only some wounded," said Hussien Edra, a member of the Bonyan Marsous Brigade.

In May, the internationally-backed pro-government troops started a large-scale military operation, including street-by-street fighting backed by heavy airstrikes and artillery fire, to eradicate Daesh militants in Sirte. They have so far recaptured most areas in the city.

Most of Daesh commanders in the city fled to other places and the remaining rank has been holding out via sniper fire, booby traps and car bombs.

Sirte is the only key base of the Takfiri militant group outside Iraq and Syria.

The city fell into the hands of Daesh Takfiri militants more than a year ago after the group extended their reach into North Africa by taking advantage of the chaos gripping Libya.

The North African country has witnessed unrest since 2011, when a NATO military intervention followed the uprising that led to the ouster and killing of long-time dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

Liberating the key city would deal a major blow to the militant group in its drive to expand its influence to territories beyond the Middle East.

   
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