The Pentagon announced today that the Islamic State no longer controls any part of Sirte, Libya. The ground campaign to liberate the city began more than six months ago and the US has launched 495 airstrikes in support of the operation. The Islamic State’s “governor” in Libya vows to fight on, saying that his men have spread out across the country.
The US carried out 330 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Sirte, Libya between Aug. 1 and Oct. 18, according to data released by US Africa Command. Nearly half of these (150) were launched during the first 18 days of October. The figures indicate that the American air campaign has accelerated in its third month as the US and its Libyan allies are still trying to eject the Islamic State from the city.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has claimed 729 “martyrdom operations” in Iraq, Syria and Libya since the beginning of the year. The figures for August indicate that 81 suicide attacks were carried out in these three countries. If the statistics are accurate, then the self-declared “caliphate” is carrying out suicide bombings at a historically high rate.
US Africa Command announced today that it carried out nine airstrikes in Sirte, Libya between Aug. 1 and Aug. 3. The bombings are part of “Operation Odyssey Lightning,” which targets the Islamic State’s positions inside the city.