Libyan Forces Recapture IS-Held District in Sirte

Libyan Forces Recapture IS-Held District in SirteLibyan Forces Recapture IS-Held District in Sirte

Pro-government forces have taken back a key neighborhood in the embattled coastal city Sirte, the main Libya outpost belonging to the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

Forces loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord on Tuesday retook a central neighborhood of the city, dealing another blow to IS in the quest to reclaim one of the terror group’s most important strongholds, DPA reported.

Led by tanks, the troops advanced upon the area known as District 2, while forces also moved to cut off possible escape routes south of the neighborhood, military officials said. The advance came a day after troops helped clear out and demine previously recaptured areas of the city.

IS militants struck back with two suicide bomb attacks that failed to hit their targets. Pro-GNA forces have made significant progress in the past week after launching a renewed push to recapture Sirte. On Sunday, a military commander said only District 1 of the city remained under complete IS control.

The military first launched an advance back in May, but failed initially to recapture the city. The recent push to win back Sirte has been aided by US airstrikes, which began on August 1 after a request by the GNA for military aid.

IS seized control of Sirte in June 2015, several years after the country spiraled into chaos following the ouster of ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi.