In western Libya, the Misratan-led Bunyan Marsus coalition made more gains against ISIS this week in Sirte. The coalition took control of the Hay El Dollar and Area “2” while continuing to conduct airstrikes against ISIS positions in the Ouagadougou complex. Despite these advances, the fight with ISIS is likely to be prolonged as the group continues to mount suicide vehicle attacks in a number of Misratan-controlled areas. The Sirte port remains under Bunyan Marsus control, despite continued ISIS attempts to retake the port using targeted suicide attacks.

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Fighting this week focused on the ISIS stronghold in the Ouagadougou Centre, Ibn Sina Hospital and Sirte University areas, with airstrikes and helicopter gunships featuring heavily in the battles. In short, very little progress is being made to dislodge ISIS from these areas. ISIS fighters still appear to have a presence in areas previously taken by Bunyan Marsus in Sirte’s south and west, and ISIS also appears to be attempting to flank Bunyan Marsus, indicating a more prolonged guerrilla war in the city.

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In Sirte, the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Bunyan Marsus coalition continues to advance in the city, tightening the noose around ISIS militants holed up in its central areas… Bunyan Marsus leaders have said they expect the battle to be completed within the next two weeks, although other analysts predict a more drawn out battle… There is a suspicion that the senior ISIS leadership has already evacuated from Sirte. Informed sources say that Libyan ISIS members have attempted to defect to friendly Islamist militias south of Sirte, some of whom are nominally aligned with the Misratans.

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The port of Sirte port is now reportedly under the control of the Government of National Accord’s Bunyan Marsus coalition, after it managed to fully recapture the Suwawa area from ISIS on 1 July. Last week saw intensive fighting, with Misratan fighters making significant advances into the city, retaking the Zafaraan area and 700 residential district on 2 July. Meanwhile, airstrikes and heavy artillery continued to pound ISIS targets throughout the week.

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