Libyan Field Marshal Haftar's forces launch air strikes agianst opponents
Air strikes were carried out by forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar associated with the eastern-based House of Representatives (HoR) government a rival to the UN-supported Government of National Accord(GNA) based in the west in Tripoli.
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|Ahmed al-Mismari, a spokesperson for Haftar's Libyan National Army said the strikes were against a camp of LNA opponents, the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) in the central Jufra region. The BDB are a radical Islamist militia who are opponents of Haftar and have clashed with Haftar's forces before. Recently, they unsuccessfully attempted to take the Oil Crescent Oil ports from Haftar who had captured them from another opponent Ibrahim Jadhran, former head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard(PFG) in the east. Two earlier counter-attacks also failed. Haftar's Operation Dignity started in May 2014 was meant to clear Islamist militias opposed to him from Libya. Haftar has even threatened to liberate Tripoli by attacking his Islamist militia opponents there. So far there has been no attempt to actually enter Tripoli. Any attempt to do so could unite those opposed to him who are presently divided between those who support the coup attempt of the General National Congress(GNC) and former Salvation government and those who support the GNA.|
The Chief of staff of Dignity Operation militia groups Abdul-Razzaq Nadouri has denied the previous control of ISIS group of Libya's Sirte, indicating the presence of the radical group in the coastal city was drama....." In fact, there was no ISIS group in Sirte," he told UAE-funded Libya Channel.Although, Haftar had at one time announced an operation to liberate Sirte, he ended up not doing so and instead took control of a number of oil fields. One wonders who killed and wounded so many BAM forces if there were no Islamic State fighters in Sirte.He claimed that all Misrata forces had left Sirte and handed it over to Ansar Sharia group, which is in full control of the city now, according to him.
The BDB are supported by the proposed Defense Minister of the GNA Mahdi Bargathi and are deemed loyal to the Grand Mufti Sadeq Ghariani. Ibrahim Jadran as well as PC member Mijibri are also believed to be in support of the BDB.Note that some claims in Libyan media may be disputed by one side or the other in the conflict. What seems clear though is that there could be a dangerous escalation of the Libyan conflict if Haftar carries through with his threat to try to occupy Tripoli.