The Libyan government has hundreds of bodies of ISIS militants stored in freezers, as they negotiate the return of the corpses to the fighters’ home countries.
While gruesome, the overload of bodies represents success in beating back the terrorist organization, as most of the casualties stem from a Libyan victory over ISIS in the city of Sirte in December. Reuters reports that negotiations of repatriating the bodies to their home countries are sensitive, as the governments of countries like Sudan, Tunisia, and Egypt are forced to acknowledge how many of their citizens left to become jihadists in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
In the past seven months following the battle of Sirte, the bodies have been slowly transported to the city of Misrata, further west than the mediterranean location of Sirte.
“Our team removed hundreds of bodies,” a member of the Misrata organized crime unit dealing with the bodies told Reuters. “This is the main operation which allows us to preserve the bodies, document and photograph them and also collect DNA samples.”
Driven from their Iraqi stronghold of Mosul earlier this month, the defeats continue to pile up for ISIS. But leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has evaded capture, despite reports of his death. U.S. Army Gen. Raymond A. “Tony” Thomas, commander of U.S. special operations, said U.S. forces recently were close to capturing Baghdadi, but a leak to the media allowed the ISIS leader to slip away.
“The challenge we have [is] in terms of where and how our tactics and procedures are discussed openly,” Thomas said. “There’s a great need to inform the American public about what we’re up to. There’s also great need to recognize things that will absolutely undercut our ability to do our job.”
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Army sergeant charged with providing material support to ISIS