(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) loyal forces announced on Monday that they have taken over the Sirte security headquarters from ISIS who has held it since February 2015.
“We’re slowly tightening our grip on them,” said a Libyan senior official.
GNA loyal forces have been attempting to take over the security headquarters and the surrounding area from ISIS for weeks. ISIS has been trying to hold on to the bits of Sirte it still controls with all it has since Sirte is its only strong hold outside of Syria and Iraq.
Sirte has been used by ISIS to recruit foreigners migrating from or through Libya. The United States military had considered sending fighter jets to attack ISIS in Sirte as concerns rise of ISIS spreading.
ISIS fighters have used snipers, suicide bombs and landmines to slow the advance of GNA forces. ISIS has also used civilians as human shields forcing GNA frontline brigades from Misrata to be more careful when firing heavy artillery at ISIS. GNA forces have had to resort to using less aggressive weaponry in close contact fighting.
“We’re trying to take our time to minimize loss of life on our end,” said a senior official.
The GNA announced back in March when it arrived in Tripoli that taking Sirte back from ISIS will be its priority.