Libyan Armed Forces kill commander of Turkey-backed Syrian armed group

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Mon, 11 May 2020 - 10:05 GMT

ID of Syrian mercenary Mohamed Hendawy, the commander of the second corps at Turkey-backed armed group, killed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) – Press Photo

ID of Syrian mercenary Mohamed Hendawy, the commander of the second corps at Turkey-backed armed group, killed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) – Press Photo

CAIRO – 11 May 2020: The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Sunday the killing of a high-profile Syrian mercenary who was transported by Turkey to fight in the ranks of Tripoli militias.

The LNA carried out an operation in Ain Zara town southern the capital to target Mohamed Hendawy who is the commander of the second corps at Turkey-backed armed group, the National Syrian Army.

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The Libyan Presidential Council heading the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli announced on Sunday the death of Chief of General Intelligence Abdel Qader al-Tohamy by heart attack, according to Al Arabiya.

Chief of Mobilization at the LNA Khaled al-Mahgoub told Sky News Arabia that Tohamy had been abducted by Tripoli's Al Nawasi militias and tortured until he died.

Tohamy had been leading the Libyan General Intelligence since 2017, and was a prominent officer at the External Security Agency under late President Muammar al-Gaddafi.

In February, GNA's Minister of Interior Fathy Bashagha stated that the General Intelligence Agency had been intruded by militias without naming them.

Sky News Arabia reported that Tripoli has been experiencing a conflict over power between militias affiliated with GNA's Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and others controlled by Bashagha.

The Libyan Control Authority announced on May 4 the abduction of Head of the Central Administration for Financial Control of the Public Sector Reda Qerqab. The authority alleged the Ministry of Interior affiliated to the GNA of standing behind the crime.
The authority explained that the abduction is an attempt to impede the administration's audit of the ministry's transactions demanding his immediate release without conditions.

In January, the LNA and Libyan tribes announced the closure of oil fields and ports as the revenues had been used by the GNA to pay militants.
The Tripoli-based GNA, which lost Sirte to the LNA in January 2020, is an interim non-elected government that is recognized by the United Nations. The GNA is protected by militias, and signed in December 2019 two MoUs with Turkey on defense and gas drilling in the Mediterranean.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed in May that the number of Syrian mercenaries who were transported from Syria to Libya is 7,850 while that of militants who still receive training in Turkey is 3,000. The death toll of Syrian mercenaries in the North African state is 250.

On May 6, the LNA announced the launch of "Ababil Birds" operation. The following day the Libyan Air Force struck – within the operation - militias concentrations and munitions warehouses in Abou Grein town eastern Misrata, and farms used by militants in Qadahiyah district southern Abou Grein.

Mesmary declared in April that the militias attempt to enter Al Watiyah district western Tripoli in order to take over its base to pilot Turkish drones as the Libyan Armed Forces are deployed near Mitiga airbase and can recover it soon.

Turkey has been using Tripoli's Mitiga airbase to pilot drones that target LNA concentrations and forces that encircle the capital and Misrata controlled by the GNA. In January, the LNA said it lied 100 kilometers from Misrata's center.

A Libyan military source told Youm7 that the LNA downed in April around 60 drones that were granted by Turkey to the GNA militias in order to impede the advances of the Libyan Armed Forces towards Tripoli.

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