Colonel Ahmed al-Mismari, spokesman of the Libyan National Army (LNA), gestures during a news conference in Benghazi, Libya – photo by Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters
CAIRO – 10 August 2017: The Libyan National Army (LNA) has thwarted the smuggling of 42 containers carrying jet fuel and armored military vehicles worth LYD 12 million ($8.9M) en route from Tobruk in Libya to Turkey, Colonel Ahmed Al-Mismari, LNA’s spokesperson, said on Wednesday.
Colonel Al-Mismari held a press conference in the eastern city of Benghazi to brief the local and international media on the army’s recent military operations against terrorist groups in the war-torn country, marking the 77th anniversary of the formation of the national Libyan armed forces.
The Libyan leader praised the LNA’s efforts in its fight against terrorism, referring to the siege recently imposed by the Libyan forces on the northeastern city of Derna to eliminate terrorists and extremists based in the city.
The LNA, led by General Khalifa Haftar, has intensified its presence on the city’s entrances as they seek the permanent ouster of militants from the region they control in eastern Libya.
The siege around Derna was reinforced after militiamen from the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), which controls the city on the Mediterranean, shot down an LNA fighter jet at the end of July. The pilot of the jet was killed in the incident.
Al-Mismari asserted that the LNA has allowed and facilitated the access of humanitarian relief to civilians inside the city during the blockade.
Haftar and the LNA, who control Benghazi, which is 350km from Derna, have been backed by Egypt and the UAE to face terrorist groups that have plagued the country following the ouster of long-time leader Muammar Ghaddafi in October 2011.