Libya: Residents fear return of IS as Sirte lies in ruins

Sirte in Libya, one of the last strongholds of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was reduced to a pile of rubble during US airstrikes during the 'Battle of Sirte'. More than a year on, footage shows the once-vibrant city still lies in ruins with its buildings destroyed and its infrastructure demolished. As displaced residents have been making their way back into Sirte... Еще, they have been welcomed by nothing but the naked skeletons of buildings and neighbourhoods devoid of life. Al Manara, one such quarter, has been levelled with one resident saying, «Al Manara district is completely destroyed because of US Strikes on this region, all residents of this area are now displaced.» Rubble and ruin and fear that there might have been something more to the artillery US had employed in its airstrikes in the region, «We have a fear that it will affect the entire city not just this region,» with one resident said. A greater fear however has been the growing concern that IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) could take advantage of the lowered guard of the ‘Open City’ and would return to claim Sirte, one of its main incubators. «The city of Sirte is sprawling with mountains and valleys and ISIS is hiding in these mountains and valleys,» Ghaloud, a resident warned, «The organization of ISIS is able to return at any moment if the state does not protect the city well.» Sirte in Libya, one of the last strongholds of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was reduced to a pile of rubble under the attack of US airstrikes in the 'Battle of Sirte'. More than a year on, footage shows how the once-vibrant city still lies in ruins with its buildings destroyed and its infrastructure demolished. As displaced residents have been making their way back into Sirte, they have been welcomed by nothing but the naked skeletons of buildings and neighbourhoods devoid of life. Al Manara is one such quarter that has been levelled. «Al Manara district is completely destroyed because of US strikes on this region, all residents of this area are now displaced», explained one resident. Amidst the rubble and ruin, there exists fear that there might have been something more to the artillery US had employed in its airstrikes in the region, «We have a fear that it will affect the entire city not just this region,» one resident said. A greater fear however has been the growing concern that IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) could take advantage of the lowered guard of the ‘Open City’ and would return to claim Sirte, one of its main incubators. «The city of Sirte is sprawling with mountains and valleys and ISIS is hiding in these mountains and valleys,» resident Ghaloud warned, «The organisation of ISIS is able to return at any moment if the state does not protect the city well.»

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