Libyan forces loyal to a U.N.-brokered government have advanced deep inside the coastal city of Sirte, the main stronghold of the Islamic State group’s local affiliate, officials said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Mohammed al-Ghasri told The Associated Press that forces have seized a key bridge inside the city where the extremists used to hang the bodies of their enemies, and are only five kilometers (three miles) from the city center and Zafrana square, where ISIS killed prisoners convicted by its self-styled Islamic courts.
Sirte is the only ISIS-held city outside Syria and Iraq, and was seen as a possible fallback option for the capital of its self-styled caliphate. The extremists are currently struggling to fend off advances on a number of fronts, including in the Iraqi city of Fallujah and the northern Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa.
Al-Ghasri said the fighting on Wednesday killed five of his fighters and wounded another 25.
Another official said the forces, mainly militiamen from the nearby city of Misrata, had encountered little resistance in recent days aside from roadside bombs. Warplanes have supported the advance, bombing ISIS positions and destroying a car bomb the extremists had prepared to use against the advancing forces.
This article continues at [Stream.org] Libyan Forces Enter Main Islamic State Bastion