Libyan loyalist forces have seized full control of the coastal city of Sirte from the Daesh jihadist group, an official spokesman said Monday.
“Our forces have total control of Sirte,” after more than six months of fighting, Reda Issa, a spokesman for pro-govement forces, told AFP.
“Our forces saw Daesh totally collapsing,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.
Sirte, on Libya’s Mediterranean coast, was the last significant Daesh-held territory in the north African country.
Forces allied with the country’s unity govement launched an offensive to retake the city on May 12, quickly seizing large areas of the city and coering the jihadists.
But Daesh put up fierce resistance with suicide car bombings, snipers and improvised explosive devices.
The United States started a bombing campaign in August at the request of the UN-backed Govement of National Accord (GNA) to help local forces recapture the city, seized by jihadists in June 2015.
“Daesh has totally collapsed and dozens of them have given themselves up to our forces,” said a statement on the loyalist forces’ official Facebook page on Monday.
The fall of Sirte — the hometown of the slain dictator Muammar Qaddafi — represents a significant blow to the extremists, who have also faced major setbacks in Syria and Iraq.