LIBYAPROSPECT – Misrata
The forces of Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous operation, affiliated to the Government of National Accord (GNA), is witnessing a fierce resistance from the militants of the Islamic State group (IS) in the city of Sirte as it is trying to enter IS-controlled residential areas in the center of Sirte.
The operation’s forces made rapid progress in its military operations over the last week, accompanied by heavy air and artillery strikes and were able to regain control of the airport and seaport. But this progress seemed to slow down with the arrival of forces to the outskirts of the residential area from the center of the city of Sirte to its north as the IS snipers on the roofs appeared in the war scene. The IS depends mainly on car bombs driven by suicide fighters from residential areas to the spots of governmental forces.
On Sunday, the IS launched three suicidal car bomb attacks that targeted two places of the government troops and a field hospital, one at least killed and four others wounded.
In the wake of these attacks, Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous forces tried to advance towards the residential area on the western side and engaged in heavy clashes with the IS militants before retreating early in the evening. One of the force’s personnel injured by a sniper during the operation.
AFP photographer reported seeing four bodies of fighters wearing military uniforms lying on the road between houses in the West End near Al-zaafran roundabout that Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous said they belonged to the IS militants.
Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous Operation aims at restoring Sirte from the IS. It began a month ago at the request of the internationally supported GNA.
The forces follow a joint command based in Misrata (200 km east of Tripoli). Nearly 140 were killed from the operation forces since its beginning, while about 500 were wounded, medical sources in Misrata said.
The forces are formed of armed groups belonging to several cities in western Libya, notably Misrata, which includes the most heavily armed groups in the country, as have the planes of the type “Meg” and fighter helicopters.
The oil installations guards who are affiliated to the GNA are battling the IS in the east of Sirte and managed to restore the villages and towns from the IS last week and reached Harawa town, 70 kilometers east of Sirte.
According to Sirte residents, the IS is estimated to have 5000 elements, including foreign people.