(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces made their biggest advance into Sirte on Tuesday, which resulted in the death of 36 soldiers and wounded about 150 as intense battles between Libyan forces and ISIS continue.
After a month of battling ISIS in Sirte, fighters loyal to the GNA reported that they witnessed the greatest number of losses since the beginning of their fighting campaign to rid Sirte of ISIS on Tuesday.
Abdalla Binrasali, a representative of the fighters loyal to the GNA at their media centre in Misrata, explains that a residential area in the centre of Sirte is all ISIS has been able to hold onto and with every passing day they continue to lose more and more of the city.
“The resistance was fierce and they were firing with everything they’ve got, mortars, rockets and rifles,” Binrasali said. “They fear that if they lose more ground they will be defeated.”
About a month ago, armed groups loyal to the GNA, with most of their members from Misrata, launched a military campaign to rid Sirte of ISIS. The armed groups were able to quickly gain control of Western parts of the city. However that quick progress stalled as they got closer to the city’s centre.
According to the armed groups their fighters were able to gain control of the official radio broadcast, the city’s electricity department building and Bin Hamal Mosque as well as parts of a neighbourhood known as “700” on Tuesday.
Gaining control of the “700” neighbourhood is regarded as a strategic move on behalf of the GNA backed fighters as ISIS snipers have been able to take position in some of the area’s buildings that are more elevated than others.