(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces said on Wednesday that their forces are preparing for the final battle against ISIS militants and have encircled the terrorists in a 15 kilometer area inside of Sirte.
The operations room media bureau said that Libyan troops resumed fighting with ISIS militants near the port of Sirte, which Libyan forces captured last week following heavy clashes with ISIS fighters.
Libyan soldiers managed to rescue six families who were trapped in areas where fighting was taking place, and while most residents have fled Sirte, some are still trapped in the city.
In addition, on Wednesday, two soldiers were wounded after Libyan troops were able to detonate a car bomb that was driven by a suicide bomber in the “700” neighbourhood.
On Tuesday, five soldiers were killed and over 30 were wounded following heavy clashes with ISIS militants at the “Western Residential Units.”
“ISIS criminals have used mortar bombs and one tank along with snipers located on high buildings,” in an attempt to hit positions controlled by Albinyan Almarsous fighters, said a statement on the operations room Facebook page.
Colonel Mohamed al-Ghasri, a spokesman for the operation against the extremist group, stated last week that ISIS snipers were strategically positioned on rooftops to target the army as they advanced into residential neighbourhoods.
According to medical officials, over 145 Libyan troops have been killed since the battle against ISIS began in May and over 500 were wounded.
The hospital in Misrata has stated that it lacked the capacity to treat the large number of wounded soldiers being sent to the facility, and that it was running low on medical supplies and rooms.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj called for the nation to unite in the battle against ISIS in Sirte.