Islamic State in Libya still resisting in one last district in Sirte

While there have been many announcements of the final battle to liberate Sirte from the remnants of the Islamic State(IS) there are a few IS fighters still holding out in one small area of the city.

Earlier, it had been predicted that the battle would be over before the Eid celebrations. It was not to be. Now that the holiday is over a renewed push to finish the job appears to be taking place. The forces of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure or BAM) are allied with the UN-supported Government of National Accord. The majority of the fighters are with brigades from the city of Misrata. Since August 1st, the BAM forces have been supported by air strikes by the U.S. as part of Operation Odyssey Lightning. The operation was extended for thirty days at the beginning of September. There are also a few special forces from the U.S. and the U.S. is providing logistical and other assistance to the BAM forces.
A Reuters report claims that two were killed in clashes today and six wounded according to a spokesperson from Misrata General Hospital, after the BAM forces shelled areas where the remaining IS fighters are hiding. Mohamed Ghasri a spokesperson for the BAM forces said: "Our forces targeted on Sunday hideouts of Daesh in Neighbourhood No.3's 600 block area and Geza Bahriya with heavy artillery shelling." "Daesh" is an Arabic term for the Islamic State. Ghasri also claimed that two IS commanders, Hassam Karami, and Waldi Ferjani, had been killed during fighting inside Sirte.
A military source told the Libya Prospect, that BAM forces had entered the remaining sections of district 3 in Sirte, calling it the decisive battle against the few IS fighters who remained in the city. The source said that artillery and tanks had begun shelling the area of the 656 residential buildings, Al-Jeeza, Al-Bahrea, 656 houses, and social security district. The source said that the forces had been in a break for the past few days as they prepare a plan.
A report from the Middle East Eye claims that the BAM forces were able to detonate two suicide vehicles before the IS suicide bombers could detonate their vehicles. Reda Issa, a spokesperson for the BAM forces said that field commanders held several meetings before deciding to resume after what was said to be a two-week lull. Issasaid: "Progress is now being achieved and our forces are clashing with Daesh fighters." The BAM forces captured several buildings, including a school that had been made into a car bomb factory, and also a field hospital.
Since the offensive against Sirte began months ago, 450 BAM forces have been killed and about 2,500 wounded. The Misrata hospital, the only one in the region has been overwhelmed as it tries to cope with the casualties. The situation has been one reason the offensive has slowed so there will be less casualties. Fortunately, Italy is setting up a field hospital in Misrata to treat the wounded. There will be about 65 doctors and nurses, 135 logistics staff, and 100 troops to provide security. Work is already underway.


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