- Title: Libyan forces step up patrols to stop Islamic State regrouping
- Date: 26th July 2017
- Summary: SIRTE, LIBYA (FILE - DECEMBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) TANK FIRING FIGHTERS FIRING GUNS FROM DESTROYED BUILDING VARIOUS OF FIGHTER FIRING FROM BEHIND TANK VARIOUS OF FIGHTERS STANDING BY TANK VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM RUBBLE/ FIRE BURNING VARIOUS OF FIGHTERS LOOKING INSIDE DESTROYED BUILDING FIGHTER CARRYING YOUNG GIRL AWAY VEHICLE SPEEDING AWAY WITH CHILDREN ON BOARD
- Embargoed: 9th August 2017 16:53
- Keywords: Islamic State battle for Sirte Islamic State regrouping foothold in Libya stronghold in Sirte al-Bunyan al-Marsous. Mohamed Ghasri
- Location: MISRATA, LIBYA
- City: MISRATA, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0016RCUM9Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Libya forces allied with the UN-backed government, who last year defeated Islamic State in Sirte, are increasing patrols to stop the militants regrouping and threatening to launch attacks on the port city of Misrata, a military commander said on Tuesday (July 25).
The forces, mainly brigades from Misrata drove Islamic State from Sirte at the end of last year after a six-month campaign backed by U.S airstrikes. Islamic State took over the city in 2015 taking advantage of Libya's political chaos.
Mohamed Ghasri, spokesman for the "Al-Bunyan al-Marsous" forces in Misrata said Daesh (Islamic State) is trying to regroup in the south of Sirte in order to take advantage political instability in the country. Ghasri gave no details of numbers of fighters estimated in the south of Sirte. But he complained that Misrata forces had lacked support from the international community since defeating Islamic State last year.
Militants took advantage of Libya's steady descent into turmoil after civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Rival brigades of former rebels backed by competing political factions turned against each other in a fight for control.
A U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is trying to extend its influence, though it is facing resistance from some armed rivals. Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and eastern commander Khalifa Haftar agreed to work on a ceasefire and elections at talks in Paris on Wednesday.
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