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Libyan Forces Drive ISIL Out of Sirte


A fighter with Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government holds an explosive belt left behind by Islamic State militants near the eastern frontline, in Sirte, Libya, Oct. 20, 2016.

The United States congratulates the Government of National Accord, GNA, and the Libyan people on their successful operation to liberate Sirte from ISIL.

The United States congratulates the Government of National Accord, GNA, and the Libyan people on their successful operation to liberate Sirte from ISIL. The United States supported the advance of the GNA-aligned forces into Sirte with precision airstrikes to eject ISIL from the only city that it controlled outside of Iraq and Syria.

The United States applauds the courage of the Libyan people, including the residents of Sirte, al-Bunyan al-Marsous forces, and others, who carried out this operation. The U.S. commends Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj for his leadership and dedication to the Libyan people.

The United Nations called this victory a major step forward in liberating Libya from terrorism and ending the days of the Islamic State controlling territory in the country.

“Defeating terrorism throughout Libya benefits all Libyans,” said Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.

The U.S. military conducted a carefully tailored counterterrorism operation, at the request of the GNA, to target ISIL while taking great care to minimize harm to civilians. This partnered operation has substantially reduced ISIL’s manpower in Libya, ended its brutal reign over Sirte’s population, and removed its primary base in Libya, dealing a blow to its ability to plot attacks in Libya and abroad. This progress comes as Libyans mark one year since the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement.

"We know that ISIL will continue its attempts to terrorize the Libyan people and sow instability in North Africa, and that Libyan efforts against terrorism continue in other parts of Libya," said Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.

"We stand ready to help the [Government of National Accord] as it secures and rebuilds Sirte. The United States also remains committed to working with the GNA, Libyans throughout the country, and regional partners to counter ISIL and other violent extremist organizations."

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