(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Libyan forces were able to secure a key checkpoint 30 kilometers west of Sirte in Friday’s battle against ISIS.
Seven Libyan soldiers were killed and 25 were wounded in clashes with ISIS militants in the region around Sirte on Friday.
The Libyan army called it the “battle of the martyrs of Sadada,” to commemorate the Libyan soldiers who died in combat against the extremist group.
Operation Strong Foundation troops continued to make significant gains against ISIS militants on Friday, and the military operations room’s media bureau reported that 30 ISIS fighters died during the battle.
The air force carried out 10 raids and targeted 20 ISIS locations in the vicinity around Sirte. One of the airstrikes hit a convoy of extremist militants as they were retreating towards the desert.
Libyan troops secured a key checkpoint 50 kilometres from Sirte at noon, and fully took control of a checkpoint 30 kilometers from the ISIS stronghold in Sirte.
The operations room’s Facebook page said that Libyan troops were now strategically stationed outside of Sirte and were ready to repel any attacks by ISIS militants.
On Thursday, Libyan forces made significant advances along the coastal road heading towards Sirte and were able to secure the Al-Baghla checkpoint and Khamseen checkpoint.
Libyan troops used artillery to target ISIS militants at the Khamseen checkpoint, 50 kilometres away from Sirte, effectively blocking ISIS’s access to the Al-Baghla crossroads.
In addition, the Libyan air force carried out six raids targeting the extremist group’s locations at checkpoints 30 kilometres and 50 kilometres from Sirte.
In the Al-Baghla region, Operation Strong Foundation forces defeated an entire unit of ISIS fighters, killing 100 and destroying their vehicles.
Libyan soldiers were able to dismantle several SUV-IED’s, which were car bombs strategically placed by ISIS fighters to target Government of National Accord (GNA) troops.
The extremist group’s defeat at these strategic locations caused them to abandon their posts and flee the battlefield.
The GNA’s military operation room issued a statement on Facebook saying that in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s battle against ISIS, “six raids were carried out by our air force. These raids concentrated on 30 km checkpoint, targeting ISIS fighters. Similarly, the 50 km checkpoint was targeted as well as the area around Al-Baghla. These raids made direct damage to ISIS fighters and their vehicles.”