VIDEO: Libyan Government Forces Keep Pressure on Islamic State in Sirte

Thu Aug 4, 2016 15:23:34

Libyan government forces kept up pressure on Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) militants in their Sirte stronghold on Wednesday (August 3) after U.S. air strikes eased the way for Libyan brigades on the district’s edge.

The forces, who are seeking to clear Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) from Sirte, say the strikes, which began on Monday (August 1), had helped the brigades secure the Dollar residential neighborhood by targeting militants who had been holding out on the district’s edge.

Libya’s U.N.-backed government requested the strikes nearly three months into a campaign that had slowed due to heavy casualties from sniper fire, mines and mortars.

A U.S. defense official said there were five strikes on Monday and two on Tuesday (August 2). Losing Sirte would be a huge blow for Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL), which took control of the city midway along Libya’s Mediterranean coastline last year.

The group is already under pressure from campaigns in Syria and Iraq.

Libyan commanders say a few hundred Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) fighters are now encircled in the center of Sirte, though they have retained control of four neighborhoods.

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