1 July – 7 July: Attack on Watiya airbase

Jul 8, 2020 | Libyan actors

In the early hours of 5 July, Watiya airbase was attacked with several waves of aerial attacks.  The alleged target was the al-Nadab barracks at the airbase, where Turkish personnel had set up their operations after the site was captured by Government of National Accord (GNA)-aligned forces in May. Local sources indicate there were a significant number of casualties, though the GNA and Turkey have both denied any casualties. No one has formally claimed responsibility for the attack.

Over the last week, both the GNA and Libyan National Army (LNA) forces have maintained their positions in Sirte, but there has been little active fighting. On 30 June, the spokesperson for the GNA’s Sirte and Jufra Operations Room, Brigadier General Abdul Hadi Drah, stated that the Russian Private Military Contractors (PMC), the Wagner Group, had undertaken attacks in Wadi Tamit that had killed one civilian and wounded one more. On 1 July, the LNA undertook an aerial attack east of Ash Shwayrif, targeting a GNA convoy moving towards Sirte. On 2 July, LNA forces reportedly fired heavy artillery towards GNA positions west of Sirte.

On 2 July, the GNA Minister of Interior Fathi Bashaagha announced that the new INTERPOL office in Tripoli had been opened. He said the new office was ‘an important step forward in fighting terrorism, organized crime and human trafficking,’ adding that the new office had been ‘enhanced by modern capabilities.’ He stressed that cooperation with INTERPOL HQ is another step towards empowering relationships with international partners.