On 17 December, the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj officially declared the military operation against Islamic State (ISIS) in Sirte complete and victorious. Although the city is now under the control of the Misratan-led al-Bunyan al-Marsus (BM) forces, threats still remain from booby traps, IEDs and remnant ISIS fighters. Mine clearance operations are ongoing, as well as the collection of corpses and the sanitisation of the city.
On 12 December, Mukhtar al-Madani was elected by the Sirte Municpal Council as the city’s local mayor. A day later, BM commanders appointed Brigadier Ahmed Abu Shahma as ‘military governor’ of Sirte in an apparent reaction to the election of a ‘pro Haftar’ mayor.
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said last week that Operation Odyssey Lightening continues despite the official victory against ISIS. According to media reports, AFRICOM is continuing to monitor Sirte and its environs, in coordination with the GNA, and to provide the support needed to clear the city.