At Least 34 Libyan Troops Killed in Battle With ISIS Over Sirte

Large Toll Sustained to Seize Several Hundred Meters of Neighborhood

As forces allied with the US-backed “unity government” continue to try to push into the Libyan city of Sirte, they are facing growing resistance from ISIS snipers, along with suicide bombing attacks and landmines deployed in areas they were advancing into.

Despite officials continuing to present themselves as “close to victory,” the fight is seeing much less progress and much higher bodycounts. On Sunday alone, at least 34 pro-government fighters have been killed and over 180 others wounded.

All those casualties netted the forces along the coast “several hundred meters” of ground into a neighborhood. The fighters are trying to present this as a sign of growing ISIS desperation to try to slow their losses with suicide bombings and the like.

The US began carrying out airstrikes earlier this month against Sirte, with an eye toward ensuring that the unity government, and not one of its rivals, ended up in control of the city. This has been difficult, however, as the unity government’s forces are chiefly made up of the Petroleum Facilities Guard, which was never meant to be an offensive force.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.