The battle between Islamic State (IS) militants and local residents continues. According to Reuters, more than 38 people have been killed in these clashes, including women and children, the actual number of deaths is unknown. The battle in district 3 in the city of Sirte is a significant one; the hometown of ousted ruler Muammar Gaddafi has been the stronghold of IS for a very long time, if IS loose control of the city, it will throw the terrorist group off balance in Libya. The battle started in the early hours of Thursday, when local armed resident attacked IS militants in Sirte.
On Friday, IS have crucified 12 people who were captives, and decapitated them. Some senior citizens and eyewitnesses have said that they are seeing the bodies of the killed people on the streets, and no one is helping them, they have called for help from Libyans and the international society to stop IS from continuing their violence. There are still preparations going on in the western side of Libya, to unite brigades all to battle IS in Sirte, however there aren’t a lot of details in relation to this for security reasons.
IS have controlled the city of Sirte since February and have tightened their grip on the city, in hopes to expand their presence in the North African country, the security vacuum is what allowed the terrorist group to grow in Libya, similar to what IS has done in Iraq and in Syria. If Libya is freed from IS, then it can begin combatting the other issues of security and rebuild Libya.
It is reported that IS militants have killed 22 people who were wounded, in a hospital in district 3 in the city of Sirte, before burning the hospital down with everything inside it. Some say the death toll in Sirte is more than 100 in 3 days, however, the actual number is unknown. Many families have fled the city, due to fear from IS being superior and oppressing them, after the terrorist organisation regained control of the city. Abdullah Al-Theni, the Prime Minister of the HoR stated that the city of Sirte has, and still is being subject to the most heinous crimes of genocide under the hands of IS.
Al-Theni, has called for airstrikes from other Arab nations, to attack IS militants in Sirte, in the name of the HoR. A statement by the HoR cabinet said “Libya’s temporary government urges… the Arab brother states… to conduct air strikes against positions of the Daesh terrorist group in Sirte” According to Reuters, both the HoR and the GNC have said that they conducted airstrikes against IS in Sirte, but the extent to which their capabilities allow them to, are very limited, they are heavily dependent on outdated helicopters, weapons and warplanes, they also lack precision guns.
In other news, Daar Al-Iftaa in Libya has stated that “the citizens that are able to fight against IS should do so” they added in a statement which they posted on their official website on Saturday that, the GNC, and the chief of staff loyal to the GNC, and all revolutionaries, to save the families in the city of Sirte, and to fight IS, they also warned of the risk of IS’s expansion in Libya if they are not dealt with. Daar Al-Iftaa also stated, for those who are old or cannot fight for certain reasons, their responsibility is to spread their wisdom with the young people, and warn the young people of dangers they may face by joining IS, and eradicating extremism from their minds.