By Libya Herald reporter.
Misrata, 20 May 2015:
Misrata’s 166 Brigade this morning launched a new major offensive against Islamic State (IS) forces . . .[restrict]in Nufaliya, 140 kilometres east of Sirte. Heavy weaponry has been used and, for the first time, the Misratans have bombed IS fighters in the desert town from the air.
Brigade 166 is not releasing any statements about the fighting at present and will not do until it is over. However, one member of the brigade is knon to have been killed in the fighting and seven others injured. They have been brought back to hospital in Misrata for treatment.
It is reported that four IS fighters were also wounded in the clashes. They are said to have been taken to the Ibn Sina Hospital in Sirte which is fully under IS control.
For its part IS says that it has captured the Al-Jalet camp south east of Sirte, previously held by Misratan forces.
Nufaliya fell to IS forces in February. A week ago, they used it as a base to attack Harawa, 70 kilometres away – an attack which saw IS behead two local youths. Residents there had for some time been calling on Misrata to help defend them against the jihadists. Today’s operation is seen as a realisation by Misratan military and political leaders that the threat posed by IS required urgent, decisive action.
Meanwhile yesterday, confident IS forces in Sirte paraded through the town to celebrate the capture by their counterparts in Iraq of the city of Ramadi on Sunday. There were IS celebrations in Derna as well. [/restrict]