After advancing very close to Sirte and threatening to surround it, forces loyal to the UN-brokered Government of National Accord from the Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous operation seem to have paused and may be consolidating their positions.
|The apparent pause in the advance from the west happens at the same time as the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), Martin Kobler, is visiting Misrata the home of most of the militia involved in the fight against IS. This has prompted the following tweet:"GNA force progress in #sirt stopped after @KoblerSRSG visit to #Misrata Any body explain?" It may be that the forces are just consolidating their gains and also that the IS plants many mines that must be cleared. Perhaps there are discussions about what the next steps may be. The advance had been rather rapid until recently.|
Al-Shayeb is a prominent IS senior leader in North Africa and the commander of IS militants in Algeria and Tunisia. He is also the main suspect in the attack that killed many European tourists in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, last year.