Photo by Johnathon Ernst/Reuters
The United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday that Sirte has been liberated from ISIS.
Speaking at Aviano Air Base to US military personnel, Carter said that ISIS had lost its “single most important nest and stronghold” in Libya.
According to Carte, the US airstrike campaign in Sirte, Libya has “concluded”.
Last week Jeff Davis, the Director of Press Operations at the US Department of Defense, said the United States’ airstrike campaign in Libya, which began in August, will officially end after the Misrata-led brigades in Sirte announce their victory against ISIS.
On Monday, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said that it will soon make an official announcement about the liberation of Sirte.
Before the launch of the US airstrike campaign the GNA loyal forces struggled to make advances against ISIS, who used suicide bombings, sniper fire and mines to throw off the advance of the Libyan troops.
ISIS moved into Sirte, which had a population of 80,000, in 2015 and managed to establish a stronghold in the coastal city. ISIS had aimbffbfbbs to expand its rule across Libya and eventually to Europe.
The terrorist group was able to make its way into Sirte after Libya fell into political chaos following the 2011 uprising that brought down the Gaddafi regime.
The Libyan forces in Sirte are now working to clear all the coastal city of all mines and explosives that ISIS left behind.