>> An encouraging week for Libya in the fight against Islamic State. US air strikes easing the passage for Libyan forces to clear the militant groups from the north African stronghold of Sirte. After three months of fighting, Libyan soldiers have encircled the city. Just a few hundred IS militants still holding on.
But Reuters correspondent, Aiden Lewis, says success in removing Islamic state from Sirte doesn't necessarily mean removing the militants from Libya.>> US air strikes targeting Islamic State positions here in Sirte began on the first of August. They were requested by Libya's UN backed Unity government and the US said that the campaign would be open ended, that they're gonna continue hitting Islamic State positions even though each strike has to be authorized by the Libyan government.
Islamic State established control over the city of Sirte in 2015. They built it up into their biggest base in north Africa. Their most important base outside Syria and Iraq, recruiting many foreign fighters and enforcing their hardline rule on civilians here. Now they've been battling Lybian forces for the past three months and they are besieged in the city center.
This battle is going to continue until Sirte is taken. But it's not clear that the threat from Islamic State will go away after that happens because many fighters, including some senior leaders, are thought to have escaped near the beginning of the battle and there are already sleeper cells from Islamic State in other Libyan towns and cities.