Fighters of Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government walk at the front line of fighting with Islamic State militants in Ghiza Bahriya district in Sirte, Libya November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
Reuters: Far from Mosul, Islamic State close to defeat in Libya's Sirte
After six months of heavy fighting, Libyan forces have advanced so deep into the strategic city of Sirte that they can pick out the Tunisian and Egyptian accents of their Islamic State enemies as they trade insults over the frontline.
Victory is imminent on this remote front of the war against Islamic State, with the last few militants staging a last stand in a small area of just one square kilometer (0.4 square mile), U.S. and Libyan officials say.
But the battle has been long and hard, and holds lessons for U.S. backed forces trying to force Islamic State out of the much larger Iraqi city of Mosul more than 2,500 km (1,500 miles) away.
"We faced unbelievable resistance. They won't leave their posts even when houses are collapsing on them," said Osama Issa, a 37-year-old businessman fighting with Libyan forces in Ghiza, the last neighborhood of Sirte that Islamic State holds.
"They know they will die anyway so they fight well."
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WNU Editor: They may get defeated in Sirte .... and I have been hearing the same story for the past 3 months .... but the problem is that the ideology that spawned the Islamic State is far from dead.