The Bunyan Marsus coalition continued its steady advance deep into the center of Sirte, taking major residential areas throughout the week with the help of US airstrikes. ISIS militants still fighting in these areas continue to show fierce resistance using snipers, mortars and SVBIEDs, but the gains made by Bunyan Marsus indicate that the entirety of Sirte may be liberated within the next two weeks.
In more detail, the Bunyan Marsus coalition continued to root out ISIS in Sirte with the help of US airstrikes, retaking the second residential area west of the port, and advancing north into the third residential area. Despite these gains ISIS forces continue to inflict significant damage on the Misratan-led coalition. On 15 August, ISIS claimed two SVBIED attacks against Bunyan Marsus on the western front. Then on 18 August, ISIS struck again, using two more SVBIEDs to hit a Bunyan Marsus assembly point nine kilometers into liberated territory near the ‘Al Gharbiyat’ bridge. The attack killed more than 18 and wounded another 70. By 21 August, Bunyan Marsus had liberated areas ‘200’ and ‘Hay Al Naga.’ Additionally, the coalition captured the main ISIS court at the ‘Hisba,’ and ISIS detention facility at the homeland security building and the Ribat Mosque, which IS ideologue Turki Bin’ali lectured at in 2013, prior to IS’s official presence in Libya.
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.