(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Earlier today three emergency air raids were launched by forces of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA). GNA forces acted on intelligence they received that led them to the location of, the so called, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the centre of Sirte, Libya’s coastal city.
The GNA forces have continued to make advances into Sirte from the south using heavy artillery supported by air raids. Five other air raids were launched on ISIS yesterday also targeting them in the city’s downtown.
Yesterday’s attacks allowed the GNA forces to take control of more areas of Sirte. GNA forces were quick to take over the areas they advanced into without giving ISIS the chance to collect the corpses of the fighters they lost.
Despite the GNA forces being able to corner ISIS into the centre of Sirte ISIS has managed to stall the GNA forces from liberating Sirte by using civilians as human shields. This continues to be a obstacle for the GNA fighters in eliminating ISIS.
Thousands of Sirte residents are held captive by ISIS in their own city, according to General Mohamed Ghasri, who spoke on behalf of the GNA forces on Monday.
“They’ve made civilians into human shield(s), keeping them from leaving the city and using their houses as bases,” said Ghasri.
ISIS fighters “are also using residential roofs as sniper positions, preventing us from moving forward,” Ghasri further explained.