On the Political front, the head of the Presidential Council for the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al Sirraj, headed up a consultative meeting with members of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in Tunisia. The countries most significant economic and security developments were discussed. Other topics covered were in relation to positive achievements on how to solve the problems and obstacles that are still confronting the Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al Sirraj, according to communication and media administration of the PC, pointed out key achievements, such as the liberation of Sirte, opening the coastal highway between Tripoli and Tunisia and appointing the Presidential Guards.
As the battle for Sirte continues the GNA’s backed ‘’Misratan forces’’ operations room, reported that further advances were being made on remaining key Daesh militant positions within the area of neighbourhood three. The Misrata led forces captured the savings and Wihda banks along with the civil court, which Daesh snipers had used as hubs for their snipers. Ammunition stock piles, inclusive of mines, explosives and warheads were also taken. Further reports revealed that the GNA backed Misratan forces had taken control of the seaside ‘’Jizha neighbourhood’’ during the offensive operations. As America continued to carry out airstrikes on the final known Daesh Militant positons within Sirte, the American Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, said ‘’the Libyan led forces affiliated to the GNA are close to defeating Daesh within their final holdouts of Sirte and the United States will not stop its support for Libya until after Sirte has been recaptured from Daesh’’.
The capital early on Thursday morning saw two Vehicle Bourne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) detonated, the first was near a Mosque in Zaiwat Al Dhmani, which is close to the Headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, whilst the second was near to the Naval base on the main coastal road. There was minimal material damaged caused in the blasts and no casualties were reported. No militant grouping has claimed responsibility for the VBIED attack and the GNA has ordered investigations to be carried out to identify the perpetrators.
Friday saw clashes breakout between armed brigades from both Tripoli and Misrata. It is believed that the fighting broke out due to the confiscation of two vehicles from the Tripoli Militias ‘’Bashir Saawi Brigade’’ by the predominantly Misratan manned ‘’Presidential Guard’’. The Bashir Saawi Brigades response, was to set up a checkpoint and start to arrest Misratan`s in a bid for the return of their vehicles. This subsequently lead to the Presidential Guard launching an attack on the checkpoint. Both Militias withdrew and no casualties were reported throughout this incident.
Whilst in the East on Sunday, reports stated that three key oil ports had been seized by the GNA backed ‘’Petroleum Force Guard’’ (PFG) which has been under the control of Ibrahim Jadran for the last two and a half years. The attacks were carried out by a faction from the Eastern backed government of the HoR, the Libyan National Army (LNA) which is under the command of Commander Khalifa Hafter. The announcement was made on Monday by a spokesperson for Hafter’s self styled LNA. The delegate said that LNA forces had taken complete control of the ports of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zuetina, however it is still unconfirmed if Brega has been fully taken back at this point.
The UN backed GNA ordered its armed forces to head to the oil producing region to wrest back control of the oil ports from the LNA forces. However, the order came as millions of people across Libya and its various armed forces, celebrate the festival of EID. The GNA called on their eastern rivals to stop attacks on the oil terminals by what they called “foreign mercenaries and illegitimate forces” as “This step goes against progress towards a comprehensive unity agreement, and crushes the hopes of Libyans for stability and an end to the bloodshed”. It was also reported that a meeting was held between Khalifa Haftar and the heads of Military Operations regarding the post liberation phase on Benghazi, as Khalifa Haftar considers that the city is almost purged of terrorists. Further announcements were made by a Libyan Military spokesperson, that battles in Benghazi were almost over.
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