The spokesperson for the Misratan-led al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces aligned with the GNA said this week that the area in Sirte controlled by ISIS fighters is ‘less than the size of a football pitch’. BM forces said they are delaying a final push into the remaining ISIS enclave in al-Jiza al-Bahriya in order to evacuate any civilians being used as human shields. They do not want to use airstrikes against ISIS positions if there is a risk of hitting civilians.
US media has reported that AFRICOM is now analysing intelligence on ISIS fighters who escaped Sirte before or during the offensive and has begun laying the groundwork for expanded air attacks to follow and kill them as part of a final push by the Obama administration. US commanders are concerned that these ISIS fighters may regroup outside Sirte and elsewhere to launch pinpoint counter attacks against the BM forces.
A weekly update of ISIS’s actions, the Western response, and developments pertaining to Libya’s other militias is available by subscribing here. To read about Western countries’ responses to ISIS in Libya this week, click here. To read the Eye on ISIS in Libya Team’s blog post about the actions of other jihadi actors, click here. And to read their explanation of the developments within the anti-ISIS Coalition of Libyan militias, click here.