For the past few months, Libyan forces have been engaged in battle to push fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) out of Sirte.

But progress has been slow.

Now, the United States military has entered the fight.

At the request of Libya's UN-backed unity goverment, US forces have begun air strikes against ISIL targets in the coastal city.

And on Tuesday, government forces said they had taken control of Sirte's central district.

ISIL took control of Libya's port city in May last year.

At one point, its self-declared caliphate stretched approximately 200km on either side of Sirte along the Mediterranean coastline.

So, what will US air strikes accomplish? And is there a shift in American policy towards ISIL?

Presenter: Sohail Rahman

Guests:

Salah Elbakush - Libyan political analyst.

Mohamed Eljarh - Non-resident Fellow with the Atlantic Council based in Libya.

Christopher Chivvis - Associate Director of the International Security and Defence Policy Center at the RAND Corporation.

Source: Al Jazeera