Easterm commander Haftar gains ground in Libya with help of Egypt
(June 2) According to a report in Al Jazeera, forces loyal to eastern commander Marshal Khalifa Haftar launched attacks almost simultaneously against forces associated with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
|The attacks happened just hours after unidentified jets bombed GNA-held areas. Haftar does not recognize the GNA government. His forces, the Libyan National Army(LNA) are associated with the rival House of Representatives(HoR) government. The Bunyan al-Marsous(BAM) forces who who were involved in the clashes earlier captured Sirte from the Islamic State. BAM forces, who support the GNA, said they were attacked on Friday both by Haftar and by Islamic State(IS) forces in the central district of Al Jufra which is south of Sirte. While IS has no longer control over major centers they still exist in a number of areas in Libya. Al Jazeera's reporter Mahmoud Abdelwahed said from Tripoli the capital: "Fresh fighting has erupted between forces loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar and forces loyal to the UN-backed GNA, helped by the Benghazi Defence Brigades in the area of al-Jufra in the central desert of Libya." He said warplanes, believed to be Egyptian, hit 14 locations in Jufra overnight including several residential areas and the Jufra air base used by UN-backed GNA forces. Abdelwahed said the raids caused heavy material damage but there were no reports of casualties. The Jufra area is about 400km to the south of Sirte.|