Sunday, July 31, 2016

Unsafe Haven

Libyan militias are still battling ISIL gunmen in Sirte, Libya:

Libyan forces made a fresh push on Friday to capture ground from Islamic State militants besieged in the center of their former North African stronghold of Sirte.

Nearly three months into a campaign to recapture the city, brigades mainly composed of fighters from nearby Misrata are waging sporadic street battles in residential areas where militants use snipers, mines and concealed explosives to defend their positions.

The brigades advanced rapidly on Sirte after launching a counter-attack against Islamic State in early May, but their progress has slowed as they close in on the city center.

Sirte is the headquarters of the Libya province of the caliphate and was once being prepped as a fall-back position for ISIL leadership should the main Islamic State go down.

By the time the Iraq province of the caliphate collapses after the liberation of Mosul, Libya won't be a good place to run to.

Which is good if it encourages ISIL forces looking to escape Iraq to go to Syria and fight Russians, Iranians, and Assad's loyalists, I suppose, in a grimly useful way of looking at things.

UPDATE: We helped out:

Today, at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord, the U.S. military conducted precision airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets in Sirte, Libya, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a news release.

Good. The Libya War isn't over, either, you know.