Exclusive: Supplies to Tripoli militias to be cut - Libyan army spox



Sat, 06 Apr 2019 - 03:25 GMT


Sat, 06 Apr 2019 - 03:25 GMT

FILE - Libyan Army spokesman, Ahmed al-Mesmari speaks during a news conference in the coastal city of Benghazi - AFP

FILE - Libyan Army spokesman, Ahmed al-Mesmari speaks during a news conference in the coastal city of Benghazi - AFP

CAIRO - 6 April 2019: Spokesperson of the Libyan National Army Major General Ahmed al-Mesmary told Egypt Today that the Libyan armed forces will block the road between Tripoli and Misrata to cut supplies to the militias in the capital.

Mesmary explained on Saturday that the militias at present cannot use any air bases or airports to strike the forces saying that the only option those armed groups have is Mitiga International Airport, however, that choice is quite tough. Mesmary affirmed that the Libyan army will not allow militias to flee Tripoli.

The spokesperson clarified that Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez Al Sarraj did not abide by the agreements he reached with General Commander Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar in Abu Dhabi meeting held in March.

Mesmary stated that Sarraj declared mobilization against the Libyan National Army making no room for possible agreements that could be brokered by the United Nations in accordance with Abu Dhabi meeting.

Commenting on concerns over alleged human rights violations, Mesmary said that “pro-Muslim Brotherhood media always promote such lies and rumors whenever the army is launching an operation” citing as examples human rights allegations that circulated during the battles that freed Derna and Benghazi from terror groups.

The spokesperson revealed that the Naval Force will cut supplies and logistics support to Tripoli militias after the armed forces take over the city’s ports. He added that militias’ top leaders have fled to Qatar and Turkey. Those include Abdel Hakim Belhaj, Samy el-Saadi, and Al Sadek al-Gheryani.


The armed forces moved from Jufra military base and other camps in the east to Gheryan and Tarhouna.

On Thursday, Mesmary declared that the army has peacefully entered Gharyan city southwestern Tripoli.

Libyan media reported that the army took over Sorman city.

The armed forces clashed with militias affiliated with the Government of National Accord 50 kilometers away from Tripoli in Souq al-Khamis, Saeh, and Souq al-Sabt villages.

The army has also captured Military Bridge 27 located 27 kilometers away from Tripoli into the west.

Haftar called for groups in Tripoli to give up weapons, and raise the white flag ordering the armed forces not to attack those who chose not to fight.

On Friday, the army captured Tripoli International Airport located 30 kilometers away from the capital.

Minister of Interior at the Government of National Accord stated that the militias regained control over the airport, and that a battle was taking place in Qasr bin Ghashir located southern the airport.

Mesmary negated that the militias affiliated with the Government of National Accord regained control over the airport saying the Libyan National Army has full control over Tripoli International Airport.

Mesmary admitted that the militias regained control over Military Bridge 27 early on Friday capturing 128 soldiers and their ammunition. However, he said that five were released.

Mesmary revealed that a battle in Aziziyah area located southern Tripoli by 50 kilometers took place.

Mesmary added that five soldiers were killed in Aziziyah since the launching of the operation on Thursday.

The Libyan army declared taking over Souq al-Khamis village, Qasr bin Ghashir, Wadi al-Rabea, al-Sawani, Heyra and the headquarters of the Fourth Brigade.

The Libyan army arrested in al-Sawani terrorists who had fled Benghazi.

The Libyan armed forces took over Naqliya Camp and Tarhouna, and caused injuries among the militias killing one of their leaders called Ghenewa al-Kakly.

Movements of militias in Showaifat, Heisha, and Sadada were detected.

Hostile movements towards Shweref and Jufra were detected.

The Ninth Brigade, encompassing 5,000 soldiers, is advancing towards Salah El Din District southern Tripoli, as reported by Libyan media on Saturday.

The General Command declared on Saturday Western Libya a military operations area (MOA) prohibiting aviation in that part of the country, and threatening to bomb any airport that may be used by fighter jets to take off.

The Libyan National Army took over Al Saedeya and Al Zahraa western Tripoli, as reported by Russia Today. Clashes are taking place in Qasr bin Ghashir with the militias that had struck the army forces in Mazada and Souq al-Khamis village without losses.

The army announced on Saturday that its forces were struck in Aziziyah 50 kilometers away from Tripoli by a fighter jet that took off from Misrata controlled by the Government of National Accord.


Mesmary announced that the operation would not stop until fully finished, and that the progress towards Tripoli is slow but steady.

Mesmary announced that an Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer had taken off from the Faculty of Civil Aviation of Misrata and struck the forces at the bottom of the mountains in Abou Ghilan.

The spokesperson revealed that the jet used to belong to the Libyan Air Force, and that the General Command knows the identity of its pilot and crew.

Mesmary stated that the General Command knows the identity of the pilot of a Mig and the identity of the foreign pilot of a Mirage saying that they will all be prosecuted when it’s time.

Mesmary asserted that the Libyan army preserves the right to defend its forces on ground, air, or sea.

Mesmary said that the Military Prosecution in Sorman has issued an arrest warrant against a commander who led a battalion towards Tripoli without permission as that has resulted in the capture of the 128 soldiers.

The incident occurred near Military Bridge 27 whereas the battalion had only local defense ammunition, however, entered an area surrounded by hostile forces on the right and left.

Mesmary said the commander might have made that move upon an arrangement with local tribes that did not fulfill their part of the deal.

Internal Status

Libya has fallen into chaos since the outbreak of civil war in 2011 resulting in the assassination of Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi and the ascendance of militias and terror groups.

Libyan factions held talks in the Moroccan city of Skhirat as per a United Nations initiative and came up with the Libyan Political Agreement signed on December 17, 2015. Accordingly, an internationally recognized interim government was formed bearing the name the Government of National Accord having as prime minister Fayez Al Sarraj and being headquartered in the capital, Tripoli.

The Libyan National Army led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar and based in Tobruk has been controlling the eastern territories of the country. Haftar was appointed as commander of the army on March 2, 2015 by the Libyan House of Representatives.

The Libyan National Army recaptured the cities of Benghazi and Derna in 2017 and 2018 respectively through “Operation Dignity.” The operation was launched in 2014 and since then has regained control over many oil facilities and ports.

On Wednesday, Haftar announced moving forces western the country to free its territories from terror groups. In a press conference held on Friday, Mesmary announced the operation launched to free Tripoli is called “Dignity Flood.”

Addition reporting by Ahmed Gomaa



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