While the world's attention has been focused on the Iraqi army's war to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State, another bloody battle against Islamic militants is nearing a climax 1,500 miles to the west in the Libyan city of Sirte.
For six months, troops of the interim Libyan Government of National Accord, backed by American warplanes and advisers, have been fighting street by street to retake the city, the last major stronghold of the Islamic State on the Mediterranean coast. ISIS militias, squeezed into a few blocks of the city, defend themselves with suicide car bombs, booby traps and hit-and-run sniper attacks. An estimated 3,650 government troops have been killed or wounded in the operation named "Impenetrable Wall."
Photojournalist Manu Brabo entered Sirte in mid-September and found it like a ghost town, filled with the shells of buildings damaged in the fighting of the Libyan civil war of 2011 and the battles over the last two years. The only signs of life were the distant sounds of the pickup trucks of the Libyan forces — and the shooting. (Text by Jerry Adler/Yahoo News and Manu Brabo)
Here are some of his haunting images of this ancient city by the sea.