Islamic State controls just one main remaining area in Sirte Libya

Of the two remaining residential districts still occupied by the Islamic State in Libya, one has been taken today (Aug. 16) by the forces of the Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure or BAM) loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

The BAM forces are now three months into a campaign to drive the Islamic State (IS) out of their last stronghold in Libya. Earlier this year they were driven out of the city of Derna by rival jihadists. The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar also claims it was involved. The LNA is now engaged in Operation Volcano to drive the jihadists of the Shura Council of Derna from the city. Haftar announced ages ago that he was going to free Sirte but has not been involved in the offensive at all. A recent tweet says : "Joke of #ALbunyan Last house in sirt will be left to Gn hafter to liberate it him self..^"
Since August 1st, the BAM forces have been helped by US air strikes. There are also special forces from several countries including the US and UK helping out on the ground. A recent tweet reports: "The #USA carried out 48 air strikes against #ISIS in #Sirte since August 1 in support of operation Odyssey Lighting."
A few days ago, the BAM forces managed to take the headquarters of the IS at the main hall of the Ouagadougou Center as well as guest house buildings earlier. They have also captured a hospital at the center. Recently they captured a radio station, and just today they captured Residential area number two. Spokesperson for the BAM forces, Rida Issa, said:"The forces have made more progress in neighborhood Number Two, with help from artillery and from naval forces. On Tuesday morning clashes erupted... that led successfully to the recapture of neighborhood Number 2 with the cooperation of a tank unit to confront ISIS snipers. The neighborhood is now completely under control of our forces,.”Issa also said the forces had advanced into residential area number one in the heart of Sirte and the last area held by the IS. A recent tweet claims: "#BAM forces are said to be fighting #ISIS elements in D1 #Sirte #Libya after taking over D2 y'day.Map by @MENASTREAM "
As the forces advanced the IS tried to halt them using vehicles with bombs but two of them were destroyed on the ground before they could reach BAM forces. However, one exploded near the forces. A tweet describes the casualties today: "James Wheeler ‏@wheelertweets #ISIS/Daesh Sirte #Libya: Bunyan Marsous/Misrata report 4 dead and over 50 injured on their side today as they finish residential district 2 "
The GNA will not have much time to celebrate the defeat of the IS in Sirte, as it is facing new problems. The Tripoli Revolutionary Brigades have attacked the intelligence headquarters of the GNA in Tripoli. Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) is threatening to take over oil ports in the east from the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) threatening the re-opening of the ports to export under an agreement between the GNA and the PFG. Should clashes occur with Haftar, some of the BAM forces could move east to help the PFG forces against Haftar.


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