Libya ‘Unity Govt’ Claims New Gains in Sirte, More US Strikes

Fighters Seize Guest Houses After 'Resting' for Most of Last Week

by Jason Ditz, August 08, 2016

With more US airstrikes backing them, the Libyan “unity government,” one of three extent self-proclaimed governments of Libya, has reported new gains in the city of Sirte, which they are contesting with ISIS. The forces claimed to have seized a number of guest houses near a convention center.

The US began airstrikes on their behalf last Monday, and carried on into Tuesday. After that, the offensive stalled, with the Libyan forces insisting they were “resting” before another push. It’s unclear how many guesthouses they got, but it doesn’t seem like a huge gain in the important city.

Sirte is an important city in Libya’s oil export industry, and has been held by ISIS for quite some time. Several factions have attacked ISIS in the area recently, believing that winning the city would go a long way toward international backing. The US, long keen for involvement, through itself behind the most recent faction.

The unity government isn’t huge, however, controlling the least territory of the three forces, and commanding forces which are mostly made up of the old Petrol Facilities Guard, forces who were meant to protect export sites, and were never meant to conquer cities.

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