The Libyan National Army (LNA) has tightened their grip on several strategic targets that fall under the control of “criminal groups,” notably Sabha International Airport, the city’s historic citadel and the Mountain Hotel in the southern part of Libya.
Since the start of operation, LNA forces, loyal to Marshal Khalifa Haftar have already established control of Sabha Airport and the city’s citadel as well as a number of nearby points. The Tariq bin Ziad battalion, 106th Brigade and Buhliqa’s 128th and 21st battalions as well as several other pro-LNA factions are participating in the operation.
The southern part of Sabha had been for a long time the rear base of Chadian opposition armed groups. Now, it seems the LNA is set to put an end to this presence.
LNA spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Mismari said that LNA units advanced in “several areas in the south”. He said that the goal of the operation is “to ensure security of residents in the southwest and protect them from terrorists,” whether ISIS, al-Qaeda or criminal gangs.
The ongoing LNA operation in Libya’s south marks the further expansion of Haftar’s influence across Libya. The LNA already controls a large part of the country’s north and west. In the even of the success in the south, it will establish a direct control of about a half of the country.