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.