ISIS may be far weaker in Libya than many had thought

The Guardian reports: Libyan forces claim to have reached the centre of the coastal city of Sirte, Islamic State’s key stronghold, meaning the jihadi group may have lost all territorial control in the country.

The speed of the apparent rout of Isis after three weeks of heavy fighting is extraordinary given US intelligence was suggesting only two months ago that the group had 6,000 fighters in the city and was starting to pose a threat to neighbouring Tunisia.

“The armed forces entered Sirte. They are currently in the centre, where clashes continue with Daesh,” said Mohamad Ghassri, spokesman for the forces of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

“The operation will not last much longer. I think we’ll be able to announce the liberation of Sirte in two or three days,” he told AFP.

Although it is still possible that the Isis retreat is tactical, most observers believe the military offensive has revealed Isis to be far weaker in Libya than many had thought. [Continue reading…]

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