10 June – 16 June: Reinforcement of positions in Sirte

Jun 18, 2020 | Libyan actors

Over the last week, forces aligned to the Government of National Accord (GNA), supported by Turkey, have reinforced positions to the west of Sirte, while Libyan National Army (LNA) forces, supported by Russia, have reinforced positions inside Sirte. Additional GNA forces and Turkey-aligned Private Military Contractors (PMC) have provided support and military capabilities to the location. Similarly, there have been additional observations of Russian fighter jets over Sirte, as well as continued deployment of Wagner PMCs and additional LNA troops. However, there has been little active military engagement between the forces in recent days.

On 15 June, the commander of the GNA’s Sirte-Jufra Liberation Operations Room, Ibrahim Bayt al-Mal, claimed that there was no “red line” for the GNA forces in their ambition to push forward to capture Sirte and Jufra or to liberate any other Libyan city, denying that that concerns over Russia were stalling the operations.

On 9 June, the LNA restructured its command of operations near Sirte, assigning Major General Ahmed Salem al-Darsi as the commander of the Greater Sirte Operations Room and Major General Fawzi al-Mansouri as his deputy. The commander of the West Sirte Operations Room, Miftah Saqlouf, was promoted to Major General. LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari said that the reshuffle was intended to deploy those with combat experience in Derna, Benghazi, the South or the Oil Crescent to the Sirte frontlines.

On 12 June, the GNA Western Military Region Commander, Usama al-Juwaili, expanded his control over large areas of Zintan. Juwaili and his aligned forces now control the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Camp, the local headquarters of the eastern-based parallel government, Sidi al-Mushir headquarters, and the Facilitation Headquarters.