Sirte , «the forgotten city», became a haven for «Daesh» in June 2015 when it was transformed into the organization’s central base of operation where foreign fighters are trained to carry out terrorist attacks abroad.
Sirte is 300 kilometers from the European coast and centrally situated between Tripoli and Benghazi, and to the west, is 180 km from Misrata.
Sirte’s proximity within the «Oil Crescent» to the east and beyond, gave «Daesh» a strategic advantage from which to seize control of the nation’s oil exports and ports.
For over four decades Sirte enjoyed the distinctive status as Muammar Gaddafi’s home. The Leader of the Revolution had hoped to establish Libya’s government headquarters there.
The city hosts a port on the Mediterranean, an international airport and air base, a university, hospital, banks and a conference compound that is is the largest in North Africa, the Ouagadougou center.
Muammar Gaddafi built the Ouagadougou center to host African and international summits where African policy was discussed and in this complex, on September 9, 1999, the African Union was born with the «Sirte Declaration».
The center is now the headquarters for «Daesh».
Sirte after Gaddafi
Sirte was largely destroyed during the 2011 NATO-led February counter-revolution. In this city, Muammar Gaddafi and Mu’tasim were brutally murdered.
Sirte residents belong mostly to one of the four regional tribes. Qadhadhfa dominate Bani Walid, Al Furjan and Almqrihh and are closest and most loyal to the former government.
More than 120 thousand people lived in Sirte before «Daesh» violently seized the city. Today 75% of the population are displaced. Less than 30,000 civilians remain. The total number of civilians that have been forcibly disappeared is unknown.
Sirte has paid dearly for its loyalty to Muammar Gaddafi. Today the residents accuse the government of accord of marginalization and a continuing campaign of reprisals against them.
For two years «Daesh» waged a brutal campaign against Sirte’s population. Military and police officers as well as judiciary officials were assassinated. Adults and youth labeled “loyalists”, were shot, thrown from the highest buildings to their death, beheaded or crucified in public squares. In the main streets «Daesh» flags were raised and black sedans monitored the activity of every resident. Children were taken from their parents and placed in camps to be radicalized and turned into soldiers for the Caliphate.
The spirit of resistance in Sirte was never broken. People repeatedly demonstrated in the streets, defiantly celebrated the Al Fateh Revolution and organized numerous uprisings in an effort to emancipate their city.
«Architecture Almrsos» was launched under the pretext of liberating the city from «Daesh», but as predicted, it was unsuccessful. The Libyan people understand that «Daesh» and the LIFG militias that fight them, are two sides of the same coin – they serve the same imperial masters.
Sirte Analysis by a Retired Military Officer
OS Strategy to Destroy the Armed Forces Trapped Between Sirte and Misrata Places All Coastal Cities in Danger
Preparing for War Against the Caliphate
Presidential Council Aims to Destroy the Supremacy and Leadership of the Libyan National Army in Sirte
The Presidential Council: The Other Face of Terror
«Daesh», desperate to defend their claim to the city, mounted a series of deadly attacks against the forces of «architecture Almrsos» stationed south-west of Sirte using heavy artillery and grad rockets. «Architecture Almrsos» sustained heavy losses, mostly among militias from Misrata. According to plan, the US-UN-backed Presidential Council and LIFG forces declared themselves incapable of defeating «Daesh». In a move intended to conceal the true agenda – the total colonial occupation of Libya, the head of the PC allegedly asked the US for military assistance. On cue, the US launched the first air strikes on «Daesh» locations in Sirte Monday.
Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said,
“Today, at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), the United States military conducted precision air strikes against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL in its primary stronghold in Libya. These strikes were authorized by the president following a recommendation from Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford. They are consistent with our approach to combating ISIL by working with capable and motivated local forces. GNA-aligned forces have had success in recapturing territory from ISIL thus far around Sirte, and additional U.S. strikes will continue to target ISIL in Sirte in order to enable the GNA to make a decisive, strategic advance. The U.S. stands with the international community in supporting the GNA as it strives to restore stability and security to Libya. These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies.”
Even though the government of accord assured the people they had granted US troops no longer than 30 days to carry out military missions in Libya, the people are not deceived.
Nothing can suppress the wrath of the people confronting multiple, simultaneous foreign interventions aimed at destroying efforts to unify the country and empower the legitimate Libyan National Army in its fight against terrorism and neocolonial occupation.
Sirte has been under continuous bombardment over the past three days. Reports coming in reveal that the entire city has been destroyed.
Nationwide protests against the GoA and foreign intervention are scheduled for Friday, August 5.