VIDEO: Libyan Forces Patrol after US Airstrikes Pound Sirte to Oust ISIS Militants

Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:36:22

US aircraft hit Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) targets with more 30 strikes over the last three days on the Libyan city of Sirte as pro-government forces push into its last militant-held districts, the US military said on Monday.

Libyan forces are close to ending a six-month campaign to liberate Sirte from Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL), which took over the city more than a year after taking advantage of factional infighting that emerged after the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Forces mostly from nearby Misrata city are pushing ahead street by street, facing snipers and suicide bombers.

They were being helped by the US airstrikes since August and advanced in coordination with small teams of Western Special Forces on the ground.

On Sunday, Libyan forces recaptured the city’s Cambo area, and swept out tunnels used by militants to hide and prepare ambushes, and seized a field hospital.

They found charred bodies of militants hit by air strikes.

A Reuters reporter at the scene said they also came across booby traps using grenades and rocket shells.

US aircraft carried out 36 strikes from Friday (October 14) to Saturday (October 15) mostly on enemy fighting positions but also on a car bomb, according to a US, Africa Command statement on Monday.

The loss of Sirte would close down Islamic State’s main stronghold in North Africa and its only base outside Iraq and Syria, just as the militant group comes under pressure in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) steadily imposed control on Sirte a year ago, and used the city as a base to launch attacks on oilfields and ports as well as to target checkpoints in nearby Misrata.

Since Gaddafi’s fall in a war in 2011, Libya has slipped steadily in the fractional fighting among brigades of former rebels who first battled the strongman and then turned against each another.

Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) profited from the security vacuum.

The Misrata forces leading the Sirte campaign back a UN-supported government in Tripoli that is trying to bring the rival factions together.

But the Sirte campaign has also prompted moves by eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, who rejects the Tripoli government, to extend his influence, Reuters reported.

S/SH 11

string(1552) "[{"id":"1868385","sort":"3644831","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/03/alalam_636111164375787457_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"80 ISIS Terrorists Killed by Libyan Army Forces in Sirte"} ,{"id":"1868544","sort":"3644832","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/04/alalam_636111706710267423_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Watch Libyan Unity Forces Advance against Islamic State in Sirte"} ,{"id":"1869851","sort":"3644833","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/07/alalam_636114748867543949_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Fierce Fighting Continues between Libyan Forces & ISIL Terrorists in Sirte’s Neighborhood"} ,{"id":"1870717","sort":"3644834","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/09/alalam_636116430690834617_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"FRONTLINE VIDEO: Libya Unity Forces Fight against Islamic State in Sirte"} ,{"id":"1870978","sort":"3644835","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/10/alalam_636117033204871464_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Libyan Forces Advance Against Daesh in Sirte"} ,{"id":"1871241","sort":"3644836","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/11/alalam_636117795751211007_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Battlefield VIDEO: Libyan Army Captured over 90 Percent of Sirte Town from ISIS"} ,{"id":"1871835","sort":"3644837","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/12/alalam_636119051331559840_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Pro-Government Forces in Libya Fight with ISIL in Sirte"} ,{"id":"1872578","sort":"3644838","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/10/15/alalam_636121221148037299_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: 14 Libyan Forces Killed in Clash with ISIS Terrorists in Sirte"} ]"