GNA-loyal forces consolidate hold on territory regained from the Islamic State near Misrata

The militia from Misrata who recently retook territory captured by the Islamic State(IS) east and south of Misrata appear to be consolidating their position before advancing further towards the city of Sirte the IS stronghold.

According to the Libya Observer:
 The media bureau of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (Solid Structure) military operation said military forces and backup came from western and southern Libya by sea, air and land to join the operation’s forces, who are already positioned in southern and western Sirte.The bureau added that a certain calm prevailed at the front lines as the Misrata militia were consolidating their positions and the military engineering unit was defusing deadly mines.
Air force planes targeted IS positions in the town of Al-Baghia to pave the way for entering it. IS forces are still in control of parts of the road between the city of Al-Jufra and Abu-Grein and are planting land mines to stop the advance of the Solid Structure forces to Al-Baghia checkpoint. There has been a new development from the east where Haftar's troops are making no attempt to engage with the Islamic State, even though he said he was advancing to liberate Sirte weeks ago. The Observer reports: On Sunday, The commander of the Ajdabia border department, Bashir Abu Thefera, said that they will form a new operations chamber, in cooperation with Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operations chamber, to lead the battle against IS from the eastern region, pointing out that it will cover the districts and towns from Ajdabia to Sirte.An attack from the east could cause great difficulties for IS it likely does not have enough forces to protect two fronts at once.
The international community has been promising to provide support including weapons and ammunition for the fight against the Islamic State but it has been slow in coming. The GNA first has to make a request for an exemption from the arms embargo. Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's ambassador to the UN, however, urged that the GNA not fund what he called "the militias," an apparent reference to the Misrata brigades who appear to be the only forces actively fighting the Islamic State. No doubt Dabbashi is supporting Haftar and the HoR on this matter.
He tweeted: "Sirte battle is not a militia war, it's a regular army's one. Attempting to prevent the army from liberating Sirte is kind of crazy." The problem is that Haftar is not fighting the Islamic State but concentrating on his Operation Volcano "liberating" Derna from the Shura Council jihadists who were instrumental in driving the Islamic State from Derna. Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) does not recognize the GNA and regards many of its members as its enemies. What would be crazy would be for the GNA to arm the LNA at this point.


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