Libyan forces continue airstrikes, shelling on Daesh-held Sirte

Published July 13th, 2016 - 03:30 GMT
Sirte, Libya. (AFP/File)
Sirte, Libya. (AFP/File)

Reuters reports that Libyan forces, in collaboration with the UN-backed unity government, are continuing an operation against Daesh to free the city of Sirte.

Daesh took over Sirte more than a year ago, and uses the city as its main operational base in North Africa.

Libyan forces have been slowly advancing on Sirte for two months, recapturing nearby villages and towns from Daesh. They are using a combination of airstrikes and mortar fire to drive the militants out of the city. 

"Our forces have...targeted militants with artillery and air force around Ouagadougou complex, Ghiza Asskariya district, and in the city center," said Rida Issa, spokesman for Misrata forces fighting in Sirte, in a statement to Reuters.

"They have targeted Islamic State members, vehicles, ammunition stores, and control rooms."

According to Issa, one Misrata fighter was killed and 20 others wounded by a Daesh mortar strike. Misrata forces counted at least 13 Daesh militants killed, before retreating due to heavy sniper fire.

In recent weeks, Libyan forces have pushed Daesh out of coastal cities. Sirte is the last major stronghold for Daesh in Libya, and the fighting is slowly moving street-by-street in residential neighborhoods in Sirte.

According to Reuters, Misrata forces are advancing on the Ouagadougou complex, the university and a city hospital with hundreds of Daesh militants. The fighting is ongoing.

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