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A Libyan militia soldier fighting against IS - photo by Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
The USA has launched airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) forces in the coastal city of Sirte, Libya. They included unmanned and manned drone attacks.

The strikes were requested by the UN-backed new Libyan government, Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) which has been fighting IS in the region of Sirte since May. 

Sources say IS had been using violence to impose Sharia law on citizens in the area. 

Libya's prime minister Fayez Sarraj said the strikes caused "heavy losses" and it has been reported that IS has lost a stronghold there.

The attack was authorized by USA president Barak Obama and the Pentagon has said, "These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL [IS] a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies."

Libyan militia have been fighting IS in the region, but much of its government and military has been divided into competing factions since NATO forces brought down former-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

IS arrived in Libya after Gaddafi fell with many of its soldiers coming in from Syria.


Vocabulary
to launch - to send off into the air
coastal - at the coast (next to the ocean / water) 
strike - a (military) attack
unmanned drone - using a drone and no humans
manned - using humans
requested - asked for
UN-backed - supported and approved by the United Nations
to impose - to force to follow

Sharia law - Islamic law used in legal governing
stronghold - a strong position of power
authorized - allowed by a person of authority
militia - citizen soldiers
competing factions - different groups that are trying to get power

to bring down - to cause the fall from power
 
 
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"We are in Syria...come and catch us!" - photos by RFS
Photos of children in war-torn Syria have been released over the internet recently by the Revolutionary Forces in Syria (RFS) Media Office. The photos depict Syrian children holding up Pokemon Go signs with messages such as, "I am a Pokemon at Idlib in Syria, would you please come and save me?” or  “I live in Kafr Nabl, the Aleppo countryside. Come catch me.”

By taking advantage of the world's Pokemon Go craze, the RFS hopes to capture the world's attention and focus it on the disadvantaged youth in Syria.

One designer, Saif Aldeen Tahhan, has said, “The world has become obsessed with this video game, so I told myself why not use it as a medium to convey our suffering."

The RFS says that they want to “remind people across the world that children in Syria should be playing, not having to think where the next barrel bomb will drop, or where to get their next meal.”



Vocabulary
war-torn - an area that is very dangerous and greatly damaged by war
depict - show
craze - the wild excitement of many people over a new toy, object, and/or activity

to take advantage of something / someone - to use their work for your own benefit or gain

capture - catch
disadvantaged (adjective) - someone with little or no advantages or benefits in life
suffering - great pain