Action 8 Nov 16

Nov 8, 2016 | ISIS

On 6 November, Misratan al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces aligned with the GNA stormed al-Jiza al-Bahriya, the final area held by ISIS in north-east Sirte. Intermittent clashes took place in this area throughout the week. BM forces evacuated more families from the ISIS enclave who had been held as human shields. On 6 November, two young ISIS fighters from Derna were killed during the latest push by GNA forces in Sirte. There were reports that US airstrikes to support the GNA in Sirte ended on 31 October when the current authorisation expired, however US officials have said that authorisation to conduct airstrikes will be renewed.

A declaration of victory by BM forces is expected imminently. The delay in announcing mission accomplished is likely related to the post-Sirte scenario. There are fears that ending the anti-ISIS operation in Sirte would further weaken the GNA, leading to more instability. Furthermore, the Misratan forces currently engaged in the fighting would either need to remain stationed in Sirte or would be re-deployed. This would likely aggravate tensions between Misratans and the LNA.