2017 Photo Contest, General News, Stories, 3rd prize

Alessio Romenzi

15 August, 2016

GNA-affiliated fighters walk through a room in the Ouagadougou congress complex in Sirte, on 15 August. The complex became an impromptu IS fortress during the conflict.

Military forces affiliated to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) launched an offensive to retake the coastal city of Sirte in May. The Islamic State group (IS) had gained control of the city a year earlier. IS emerged as a growing force in Libya in the political vacuum that resulted following the overthrow of President Muammar Gaddafi, and Sirte had become one of IS’s three major strongholds, alongside Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. The GNA offensive lasted until December, benefiting from US air support after August. According to a UN Security Council report, IS lost almost all of the territory it controlled in the area, although small groups remained active throughout the country.

About the photographer

Alessio Romenzi

He later decided to base himself in the Middle East, covering the so-called Arab Spring from the beginning, with a special focus on Egypt and Libya. Later his interests moved to ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
26.0 mm

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