13 killed as Libya’s unity government pushes to retake Sirte from Daesh
At least 13 people have been killed during fresh violent clashes between the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, medical and military sources say.
Medics at a field hospital set up on the outskirts of Sirte confirmed that at least three pro-GNA fighters had lost their lives in fighting around the last positions of Daesh militants in the troubled city on Thursday.
This is while GNA military sources said at least 10 Daesh militants were also killed in the latest fighting.
Meanwhile, the government media office said in a statement that GNA fighters were advancing around the last positions of Daesh militant group in the volatile region.
“Our forces are advancing on the last holdouts of Daesh,” the statement read.
It also added that three car bombs driven by Deash terrorists were destroyed before reaching their targets.
The UN-backed government in Libya started a large-scale military operation in May to purge Daesh militants from Sirte, which is the hometown of former slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Daesh, which captured Sirte last year, had taken advantage of a chaos gripping Libya since 2011, when a NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of Gaddafi.
Figures show more than 450 pro-government fighters have been killed and around 2,500 wounded since the operation began four months ago.
Forces loyal to GNA) have launched a final offensive to retake Sirte from Daesh terrorists.
Sirte, located on the Mediterranean coast, is the main urban center Daesh has managed to seize outside Iraq and Syria. Recapturing the key city would inflict a huge blow to the terrorist group in its drive to expand the militancy outside the Middle East.
The GNA, endorsed by the United Nations and several Western governments, has yet to fully establish its authority across Libya. The cabinet is made up of representatives from a parliament based in the east, which formerly enjoyed support from the UN, and a militia government based in the capital Tripoli in the west.