Libya warplanes hit ISIS-held Sirte
TRIPOLI - Warplanes of Libya's unity government on Thursday bombed Islamic State group positions in Sirte as part of an offensive to retake the jihadist stronghold, the military said in a statement.
The strikes targeted the area around a conference centre where IS had set up a command post, it said.
Forces loyal to Libya's internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA) have been advancing on Sirte, the jihadist group's key bastion in the North African country.
The unity government's navy has taken control of the coast of Sirte as part of the offensive, Rida Issa, the naval commander for central Libya, told AFP.
"Our forces control the entire coast of Sirte. They (IS jihadists) will not be able to flee by sea," he said.
He said naval forces had supported the offensive including by "carrying out operations to open the way for ground forces to advance along the coast."
The unity government's forces and those of a rival authority in the east are in a race to be the first to drive IS out of Sirte, the hometown on the Mediterranean of Libya's ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
On Wednesday the unity government said its forces had captured two military barracks from the jihadists near Sirte during their advance.