Months into their “final push” against the last “handful of holdouts” that ISIS has in the Libyan city of Sirte, the US-backed “unity government” continues to struggle, with a new round of fighting reported this weekend leaving at least 18 more fighters killed, and no real progress on the ground.
Sirte is a critical part of Libya’s oil industry, and had been the main city of ISIS forces in the country until the US-backed offensive against it. The unity government claimed to have the last of the ISIS fighters trapped in an area along the coast, with nowhere to go.
ISIS sniper fire and suicide bombers are keeping the unity government’s limited troops from pushing any further in, however, and despite the claims of having the area surrounded, officials reported ISIS fighters escaped from the city and are being pursued.
The unity government’s figures for the weekend fighting saw 8 of their own fighters killed and 24 wounded. 10 ISIS fighters were also said killed, but no figure on overall casualties for the ISIS force was available.