08/29/2016, 15.00
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Sirte freed from Daesh

A spokesperson for Bunyan El Marsus, the western Libyan militias allied with the government of national unity, made the announcement. Daesh forces fled south. Overestimated, the strength of the Islamic state is a media-constructed myth. Now the el Sharara oil fields must be saved from possible reprisals.

Sirte (AsiaNews) – Bunyan el Marsus forces yesterday seized districts 1 and 3 of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, launching the final battle to wipe out the "Islamic Caliphate" from the country.

Bunyan el Marsus is the name of the western Libyan militias allied with the government of national unity, named ‘solid structure’ as mentioned in the Qur’an (Surah Al Saf, v.4).

According to Reda Issa, spokesman for Bunyan el Marsus, the attack involved 1,000 men from his militia. “Victory will be certain,” he said.

The group's press office said that the ground attack took place after a busy night of air raids by Allied forces, i.e. US planes, against Daesh’s positions in Sirte.

An eyewitness in Sirte, contacted by AsiaNews via Skype, said that two days ago he saw Islamic State tanks move through Sirte’s district 1, a residential area, as well as weapons and rockets loaded on 4x4 trucks.

Daesh’s black flags used to fly on all the roofs of the neighborhood buildings. However, resistance in this neighborhood seems to have been less than significant. This shows, as it were, that Daesh is powerful only because of its force has been overestimate, turned into a myth by the media, especially in the West. On the battlefield, reality is different.

Daesh is "a lot of smoke. At the first serious blow, it disappears," said Lebanese analyst A. Nakkash. What happens on the ground whenever Daesh is attacked with military force shows that this statement is true.

The battle to regain control of Sirte, hometown of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, started a week ago and has been going on for three days, until 24 August, when ground attacks stopped to allow US planes to hit Daesh positions.

On 23 August, the US military announced the use of military helicopters from the USS Wasp positioned in the Mediterranean waters.

The next day, during a visit to the Africom military base, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj asked for official US "military support" against Daesh.

As of yesterday Daesh’s last positions have been cleared. However, the city is far from being completely liberated. Snipers are still shooting from rooftops and explosives and mines are still a danger, placed near trees and in parked cars in various parts of districts 1 and 3.

As they do when they are attacked, Daesh fighters flee to areas where there is a power vacuum.

At present, such a vacuum exists in southern Libya, where a Toubou tribal chief, contacted by AsiaNews, reported that in remote areas of Waddan, outsiders with "black cars and ammunition" have been seen.

Now the priority is to save the el Sharara oil fields from damages Daesh might cause in retaliation. (P.B.)

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