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Islamic State threat to Rome in Sirte graffiti

12 agosto 2016 | 14.58
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Rome is in the cross-hairs of the Islamic State according to graffiti scrawled in Arabic on a wall in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, where forces aligned with the UN-backed unity government say they have seized key sites from the jihadist group.

"The IS port of Sirte - from where it will depart for Rome, God willing," read the graffiti, a photo of which was posted to Libya's UN-brokered presidency council's website.

The graffiti was the latest in a series of purported IS threats against the Italian capital issued in online videos and tweeted messages as well as in its propaganda magazine Dabiq.

Forces aligned with Libya's unity government stated on Wednesday they had seized IS's "most important bastions" in its former North African stronghold, the only city in Libya where it established total control.

The presidency council posted other photos to its Facebook page of sites in Sirte seized from IS including a hotel and presidential palaces.

Libyan forces also said they seized the Ougadogou convention complex, which had been a symbol of the militant group's authority in the city.

The US began air strikes on 1 August to support the Libyan brigades who had struggled for weeks to gain ground against IS jihadists in Sirte amid house-to-house fighting in residential districts, sniper fire, trip wires and landmines.

The same day the US air campaign began in Sirte, IS's Egyptian branch Sinai Province vowed to conquer Rome and target Jews and Israel in the near future in a 35-minute propaganda video called 'Desert Flame'.

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