By Sami Zaptia.
London, 21 December 2016:
The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has announced that it has concluded its military operations against IS/DAESH in and around the Libyan city of Sirte.
In a short statement released yesterday AFRICOM said that ‘‘The United States Africa Command concluded Operation Odyssey Lightning Dec. 19, following an announcement from the Libyan government of the end of offensive military operations in Sirte’’.
‘‘In partnership with the Libyan Government of National Accord, the operation succeeded in its core objective of enabling GNA-aligned forces to drive Daesh out of Sirte by conducting 495 precision airstrikes against Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, heavy guns, tanks, command and control centers and fighting positions’’.
‘‘The United States remains committed to working with the GNA, the Libyan people and partners in the region to counter the evolving threat of Daesh and other violent extremist organizations’’, concluded the AFRICOM press release.
The AFRICOM announcement comes a day after Faiez Serraj, Prime Minister-elect of the Government of National Accord officially announced victory and the end of fighting against IS/DAESH in Sirte.
This comes after eight months of fighting in Sirte taking the lives of at least 712 Bunyan Marsous fighters and the wounding of 3,210 more.
The announcements also comes a year after the signing in Morocco, Skhirat of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA).