Forces from Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (Solid Structure) continued their advance on Sirte the stronghold of the Islamic State.
They have taken control of Al-Saadi military camp just south of Sirte. The forces, mostly from the city of Misrata have gradually encircled IS in the city of Sirte cutting off escape routes. The camp was originally the HQs of Gaddafi's slain son Al-Saadi. Sirte was a home town of Gaddafi. In Sunday clashes Misrata Central Hospital reports that 3 of the GNA-loyal forces were killed and another 13 wounded.
Just two days ago the Solid Structure forces captured the Al-Gardbiya air base just 20 kilometers from the city. More than 17 IS fighters were killed and many weapons and ammunition were seized. Reports indicate that 4 fighters from Solid Structure were killed and 14 others injured.
ISIL maintains that it had repelled an attack and killed nine of the Misrata militia. Even now they are making claims that they still occupy the base showing photos of it. The problem is according to critics that the photos are old and taken long before the attacks. However, there are many reports now and photos of the Misrata militia at the base. IS fighters are said to have retreated to the north towards Sirte.
A top Misratan commander, Omar Al-Hassan of the 166 brigade was shot and killed in an apparent ambush south of Sirte. His brigade is backed by newly arrived reinforcements from the south. The brigades were able to overrun "Saad katiba" camp at Bohadi. There are reports that hundreds of families in Sirte are pleading for help. Some IS fighters may be fleeing south. Six Sudanese, suspected of being IS members were arrested in the town of Hun.
Mohamed al-Gasri spokesperson for Solid Structure claimed that their fighters had killed at least 700 IS fighters since the offensive against them began in April. He said that while significant gains had been made in and around Sirte, that IS still had considerable power within Sirte itself.
The PM of the UN-backed Government of National Accord claimed that Libyans would themselves eradicate the Islamic State but that they needed ammunition and military equipment from the international community to help them do so. A number of countries already have special forces in Libya including the UK, US, Jordan, Italy, and France.
On the eastern front, the Petroleum Forces Guard are advancing toward the town of Harawa not far from Sirte. Meanwhile, General Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, who announced weeks ago he was marching towards Sirte to liberate it, has concentrated on fighting militants in Benghazi. The UN asked for a ceasefire in Benghazi during Ramadan but Haftar refused.
He is also continuing with his Operation Volcano against fighters of the Derna Shura Council who were instrumental in driving IS from Derna and its surroundings. Haftar has been bombing Derna for days.
The latest bombings have been near the public stadium at the western entrance of Derna. The UN has said nothing so far about these actions.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.