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 Daesh enemies as they trade insults over the frontline. Victory is imminent on this remote front of the war against Daesh, with the last few militants staging a last stand in a small area of just one square kilometre (0.4 square mile), US and Libyan officials say. But the battle has been long and hard, and holds lessons for US backed forces trying to force Daesh 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 neighbourhood of Sirte that Daesh holds. “They know they will die anyway so they fight well.” Defeat in Sirte will damage Daesh’s ability to show it is expanding globally and deprive it of a foothold outside Iraq and Syria. Losing it and Mosul in quick succession would dent its morale and possibly its ability to recruit followers.
President-elect Donald Trump invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him in the United States at the earliest opportunity. Netanyahu had called Trump to congratulate him on his electoral victory earlier in the day. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the invitation came during that phone call.
Netanyahu assured Trump that the United States has no better ally than Israel as they discussed regional issues. The conversation between them was heartfelt and warm.
President of the General People’s Congress (GPC), Ali Abdullah Saleh, said either honorable peace or continuing confrontation until victory: “We at the time of renewing our people readiness to positively deal with all peace-seeking initiatives that aim to stop bloodshed, preserve the Yemeni unity, integrity, security and stability, and achieve fair, comprehensive peace for Yemen and the region.., we at the same time confirm that if the Saudi aggression did not stop, then the Yemeni people are in the highest degree of readiness today, militarily and popularly, to continue fighting the aggression at all levels and in all circumstances until victory”.