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.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said today that the Islamic State’s stronghold inside Sirte, Libya has been reduced to “a single square kilometer” and a “single neighborhood.” As of Sept. 21, the US has launched 161 airstrikes against the so-called caliphate’s men inside the city.
The US has launched 62 “precision” airstrikes against the Islamic State in Sirte, Libya since Aug. 1, according to data provided by US Africa Command earlier today. The jihadists have lost significant ground, but continue to conduct suicide attacks using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) inside the city.