Smoke rises from a ruined house after it was hit by an air strike as fighters from Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government advance into the last area controlled by Islamic State, in Sirte - REUTERS
CAIRO – 21 May 2018: Five leaders of the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda in Derna turned themselves in to the Libyan National Army (LNA), said Abdel Karim Sabra, spokesman for the major operation against terrorists in Derna.
Sabra named Ibrahim al-Hals and Hamad al-Maleki among the five who turned themselves in amid the major operation launched on May 7 in the port city of Derna, according to UAE’s News Eye Gate.
The city is controlled by the Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), which is subordinate to the IS and Al-Qaeda.
The operation has been launched upon an announcement by Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to liberate the city from Islamist militias on May 7. According to the Emirati News Agency, LNA forces captured a wheat silo and a number of villages in the city.
On Sunday, the High-risk terrorist, Omar Refaei Sorour has been severely wounded, following air strikes on Al-Qaeda hideouts in Derna, Salem al-Rafady, commander of Libyan Army’s brigade, Omar al-Mokhtar, revealed to Al-Ahram's correspondent in Libya.
Rafady said that his brigade had successfully targeted several hideouts of Al-Qaeda organization in Derna. “Our sources confirmed the injury of Sorour who had been seen at a field hospital,” Rafady added.
Sorour is known as “Abu Abdullah al-Masry”. He is one of the key leading terrorists in Derna and he has been known for being the judge of Al-Qaeda in Libya. Sorour is accused of establishing the so-called al-Murabeton group which is the Libyan branch of Al-Qaeda, in coordination with wanted-criminal Hisham al-Ashmawy.
Sorour is responsible for recruiting and training Arab youth members and luring them to join terrorist groups in Syria, Libya and Egypt.
In May, 2017, Egypt’s Armed Forces launched airstrikes against IS in Libya, attacking the IS training camps and the main center of the DMSC, which allegedly harbored the terrorist elements who carried out the Minya terrorist attacks in Egypt, killing 30 people and injuring dozens others.
Libya has been in a state of turmoil since a 2011 civil war that resulted in the overthrow of longstanding ruler Muammar Gaddafi by rebel fighters backed by NATO air strikes.
Additional reporting by Nawal Sayed, Ahmed Gomaa