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Pro-government Forces in Libya Claim Control of IS Headquarters


FILE - a man loyal to the Libyan armed forces prepares himself for clashes with Islamic State group militants west of Benghazi, Libya.

Pro-government forces in Libya say they have taken control of Islamic State's headquarters in the city of Sirte.

The statement was issued by forces loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

The U.S. has been carrying out airstrikes aimed at pushing IS out of Sirte, a key coastal city that has served as a base for the terror group’s operations.

U.S officials on Wednesday stressed that U.S.troops are not engaged in any direct fighting on the ground.

“Several of you have asked about media reports suggesting that U.S. forces are engaged in direct action on the ground in Sirte. I can tell you those are not true," Pentagon Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge said. "Our mission in Libya is focused solely on conducting air strikes at the request and in support of forces aligned with Libya's Government of National Accord. We are providing unique capabilities - notably intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision strikes - that will help enable GNA-aligned forces to make a decisive, strategic advance."

VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb contributed to this report