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Libyan army gains ground against IS in Sirte

By Nicholas Norbrook
Posted on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 16:17

The fighting on Tuesday 21 June was some of the fiercest yet in the month-long push into the IS stronghold. Skirmishes continue today.

Sectors of the ‘700’ district were cleared of snipers, with the broadcasting and electricity company headquarters captured.

While forces loyal to the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli had swept into the western outskirts of Sirte with little resistance at the end of May, the central residential areas have proved far harder to clear.

IS has struck back with car bombs and land mines.

Colonel Mehdi al-Barghathi, the defense minister of the Government of National Accord, has been spearheading the attack. This suggests that military action is proving quicker to materialise than political accords.

Reports say French and British special forces are active alongside the loyalist Libyan army factions in Sirte.

If IS is ejected from Sirte, it will likely head south, where it may be faced by the Libyan National Army commanded by General Khalifa Haftar.

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