- Title: Libyan forces edge forward against Islamic State in Sirte
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: SIRTE, LIBYA (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) LIBYAN FORCES IN TANKS IN STREET IN GHIZA BAHRIYA DISTRICT LIBYAN FIGHTERS ON TANK GIVING VICTORY SIGN TANK WITH LIBYAN FLAG LIBYAN FLAG TANK LIBYAN FIGHTERS STANDING IN STREET WITH WEAPONS VARIOUS OF TANKS MOVING ALONG STREET VARIOUS OF LIBYAN FIGHTERS WALKING IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LIBYAN FIGHTER, HASSAN KARA, SAYING: "Thank God today we advanced on two streets in Ghiza (Bahriya) and there's only a little bit left and within the coming two days, God willing, we will announce the liberation of Sirte and celebrate, and God willing, they (IS) are finished." VARIOUS OF TANKS MOVING ALONG ROAD FIGHTERS STANDING ON BACK OF FLAT BED TRUCK VARIOUS OF LIBYAN FIGHTERS SEEN MOVING FROM INSIDE OF ONE BUILDING TO ANOTHER VARIOUS OF LIBYAN FIGHTERS STANDING ON RUBBLE INSIDE HOUSE SAYING (Arabic): 'GOD IS GREAT' VARIOUS OF LIBYAN FIGHTERS MOVING FROM ONE BUILDING TO ANOTHER GIVING VICTORY SIGNS AND SAYING (Arabic): 'GOD IS GREAT' LIBYAN FIGHTERS WITH WEAPONS IN STREET LIBYAN FIGHTERS STANDING OVER A BODY OF ISLAMIC STATE MILITANT BODY OF ISLAMIC STATE MILITANT SEEN ON GROUND VARIOUS OF DAMAGED HOUSES AND FIGHTERS IN STREET IN GHIZA BAHRIYA VARIOUS OF SMOKE SEEN BILLOWING FROM HOUSE IN DISTANCE LARGE TANK ON ROAD
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 16:15
- Keywords: Libya Sirte Islamic State fighting
- Location: SIRTE, LIBYA
- City: SIRTE, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00159T22X3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL
Libyan forces resumed their advance on Thursday (November 24) against Islamic State militants holding out in a few streets in their former stronghold of Sirte.
They say they have captured 25 houses and a stash of arms from the militants.
Backed by U.S. air strikes, the Libyan brigades have reduced the area held by the jihadists to a small patch of land near Sirte's Mediterranean seafront after a campaign of more than six months.
Recently, they say, they have been advancing with more caution in the Ghiza Bahriya district to limit casualties among their own fighters and among any hostages and families still held there.
Several groups of civilians have either escaped or been released in Sirte in recent weeks, including migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who were captured by Islamic State as they tried to make their way towards Europe.
It is not clear how many militants or civilians remain. Earlier this week Libyan forces said they had counted the bodies of several dozen slain Islamic State fighters.
The Libyan forces are led by brigades from the western city of Misrata and loosely aligned with a U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. They have faced fierce resistance from Islamic State snipers as well as suicide bombs and hidden explosives, losing more than 670 of their men since their campaign began in May.
Rida Issa, another spokesman for the brigades, said they had recovered a 106 mm anti-tank gun and a store of ammunition during Thursday's advance. One of the Misrata-led forces had been killed and three wounded, he said. He said perhaps 70 houses remained under Islamic State control.
As of Tuesday (November 22), the United States had carried out 420 air strikes in Sirte since Aug. 1, according to U.S. Africa Command.
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