Libyan Unity Govt: 34 Fighters Killed in Sirte Fighting Against ISIS

Officials Continue to Predict 'Decisive' Battle

by Jason Ditz, June 21, 2016

Reports on exactly where the Libyan unity government and its Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) stand in their attack on the ISIS-held city of Sirte vary wildly based on where the report is coming from, but always underpinning the statements are predictions of a “decisive” PFG victory.

At the same time, officials conceded that the death toll has risen markedly, with 34 unity government troops now confirmed killed and at least 100 others wounded. This is dramatically more than had been previously reported.

The admission of more losses was followed by claims of “dozens” of ISIS fighters having been killed in the last 24 hours, and some officials were claiming ISIS was surrounded in one tiny part of Sirte, even as they claimed that to have seized a bunch of new territory.

This has been an ongoing problem with the unity government’s statements, as they claimed weeks ago to be making huge gains “inside Sirte,” even as the details of their operation suggested they were over 50 miles west of the city. They’ve been predicting victory within a couple of days for weeks now, and unconfirmed reports of dozens of ISIS fighters slain don’t seem to match up early reports of around 2,000 ISIS fighters in the city.

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