Remaining Islamic State fighters in Sirte continue fierce resistance

Sirte (October 22) While the final battle against the remaining Islamic State(IS) fighters was announced weeks ago there are still a few IS fighters putting up fierce resistance in small overlooking the Mediterranean.

The forces of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure or BAM) had divided the few remaining groups of IS fighters into two a few days ago. Now they have completely taken control of neighborhood 600 on Saturday one of the two remaining areas. The area gets its name because it is composed of 600 flats. The IS is now confined to the district of Jiza the final area held by the IS in Sirte.
During their advance a number of foreign nationals were freed. According to the Libya Observer, 1 Turk, 1 Egyptian and 11 enslaved women from Eritrea were rescued. Another source also confirms the release. On Thursday, according to Reuters, 2 Turks were freed, 2 from India, and 1 from Bangladesh. BAM forces are combing through the 600 area to uncover any hidden IEDs or militants still hiding. A tweet confirmed the capture of the 600 area: "#BAM forces announce they completely liberated the 600 Area. If confirmed the only hideout for #ISIS would be the Jizah Marina area #Libya"
In the course of the advance, the US was reported to have carried out three airstrikes against IS forces. Since Operation Odyssey Lightning began on August first the number of airstrikes is approaching 250. The amphibious assault ship Wasp from which the missions were being launched is being replaced by the amphibious transport dock San Antonio. As a result of the change, the fixed-wing AV-8B Harrier jump jets will be replaced by Bell SuperCobra and Venom helicopters.
There were casualites from the most recent advance. According to a twitter: "4 killed from #ALbunyan today in sirt 3 from misrata 1 from sebha." Sebha is in the south. Most of the brigades in the offensive are from the city of Misrata. Another tweet shows unexploded suicide belts from the the bodies of two IS fighters. There should be less than a hundred IS fighters left, I should imagine, so it will not be surprising if a final victory is announced within the next day or two. Sirte was Gadaffi's home town and he was killed while trying to escape from Sirte. The offensive against the IS began in May.


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