Air strikes targeted the strongholds of militias and mercenaries loyal to the Sarraj government in the city of Misrata
The Libyan National Army continues to confront the violations of the Government of Accord forces aimed at controlling strategic cities in the region, with intensification of mobilization and preparedness operations, marking the continuation of the battles between the two parties.
The Air Force of the Libyan Army ended the cautious calm that prevailed in the military front for several days, and moved towards a new round of fighting, which will be expected in the coming days along the Sirte-Jufrah line.
Field developments coincided with the monitoring of “suspicious” movements of the militias loyal to the government of Fayez al-Sarraj, which were accompanied by mobilization and preparedness operations in several areas, including Tarhuna, Souk Al-Khamis and Meshal.
These developments herald the changes to come, sending messages to the elements of the current conflict in which local, regional and international actors overlap, especially at this time when political and diplomatic moves have stalled.
Aqeelah Al-Saber: The Libyan army is ready to deal with any attack on Sirte and Al-Jufrah.
The Military Information Division of the Libyan army announced that “the Libyan Armed Forces Air Force fighters targeted the positions and outposts of the militia and mercenaries of the Turkish invasion in Wadi Bay al-Kabir and the Abungim area east of Misrata on Thursday morning…The Libyan Air Force launched a series of air strikes on the Al-Wefaq government militia in the Al-Jufrah area near the Al-Sdada bridge, between Abu Qreen and Tawergha, on the road between tt the Lihe cities of Sirte and Misrata.”
The army indicated that it was the second time that “the air force fighters targeted the Turkish militias near the Al-Sdada Bridge, east of the city of Misrata,” as Aqila Al-Saber, a member of the Libyan Army’s Military Information Division, confirmed that the raids used an advanced militia force in the Al-Jufrah area, in the valley of Abungim and Wadi Kabir.
The Greater Wadi Bay area is considered a strategic approach point towards the Sirte-Jufra line from the northwestern side of the Libyan army’s defenses, and therefore, targeting it reveals a determination to prevent any militias approaching the Sirte-Jufra line.
The air strikes came a day after the coastal defense forces targeted a boat that violated the maritime embargo off the shores of Ras Lanuf, where the Libyan Air Force targeted a boat carrying a number of mercenaries loyal to Turkey after entering the maritime exclusion zone.
Aqila Al-Saber said that the Coastal Defense Forces “dealt a devastating blow to a boat carrying mercenaries of the Government of National Accord upon entering the maritime exclusion zone in the Bay of Challenge, and completely destroyed it.”
Al-Saber affirmed, “Our units are fully prepared to deal with any emergency, especially after frequent reports of the militia’s intention to launch an attack on the Libyan army’s observatories in the city of Sirte and the Jufra region.”
Earlier, Lieutenant General Saqr Al-Jaroushi, commander of the Libyan army’s operations, announced that the area extending from the city of Sirte to Boyrat Lahsoun is a prohibited area, preventing the presence of civilians and mercenaries loyal to the Government of National Accord.
Observers have warned that these developments open the door to a new military escalation, which may lead the Libyan file, with its intertwining complexities, out of the circle of lukewarm political and diplomatic moves to openly clamorous tensions. This warning is based on a number of indicators, including the increase in military mobilization in several areas, including Tarhuna, Souk Al-Khamis, Meshail and Derna, as well as in the southern region.
Muhammad al-Sharif, expert on terrorist groups in Libya, described movements of “suspicious” groups, “the Derna and Benghazi Shura”, and ISIS leaders in the southern region. Al-Sharif indicated that those movements include the “Black Haruj and Murzuq” in southern and central Libya. Libyan military sources confirmed the monitoring of a wide range of militias and mercenaries in several areas inside Tarhuna and on its northern borders.
This deployment coincided with the increasing flow of military convoys and vehicles from Misrata to Tarhuna, amid estimates that the militias affiliated with the Sarraj government are preparing to prepare an airstrip to be used for military purposes.
Data indicates that the Sarraj government militia is currently working on establishing a military airstrip to reinforce its operations in the region and expand its sites towards the southwest, especially in the cities of Tarhuna and Bani Walid.
These developments are what prompted Major General Ahmed Al-Mesmari, official spokesman for the Libyan army, to confirm on Wednesday evening that the Libyan army “has taken all necessary measures to confront any development in the area east of the city of Misrata.”
The Libyan army has warned about the plans of the Sarraj government militias, which continue to mobilize mercenaries to attack the city of Sirte and the Al-Jufra region in preparation for the occupation of oil fields and ports.
Translation by Internationalist 360°