(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Libyan forces loyal to the unity government (GNA) lost at least 34 fighters in clashes against ISIS in Sirte and at least 180 others were wounded.
After a one week pause, Libyan forces resumed their fight against ISIS on Sunday.
Libyan troops say they are coming really close to victory but often find themselves held back by ISIS suicide bombers, landmines and snipers.
A number of brigades positioned near Sirte’s shores advanced a few hundred meters east towards a neighbourhood called Number One as other brigades stormed ISIS militants with street-to-street fighting in the southern part of Sirte.
The GNA loyal forces attacked ISIS with tanks, rocket propelled grenades, and anti-aircraft guns in an attempt to wipe out ISIS snipers.
Brigades from Misrata said on Sunday that there were five car bombing attempts by ISIS fighters as a “desperate attempt to disrupt the advance.” Luckily one of the bombs was destroyed before it reached its target.
The calm that came before Sunday’s clashes was meant to give the wives and children of ISIS fighters time to evacuate the battle ground before the fighting intensified again.
Nearly all of Sirte’s 80,000 residents fled the city last year after ISIS took control of Gaddafi’s hometown, transforming it into a stronghold for the extremist group.
Commanders for the Libyan forces said that some ISIS fighters left Sirte when GNA loyal forces launched their offensive in May. The fighters who left are now attempting to desert areas in the south and west of Sirte.