11-17 October: LNA claims more territory west of Tripoli

Oct 18, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 6 October the Anti-Operations Room militia affiliated with the Libyan National Army (LNA), expelled the Anas Dabbashi militia from Sabratha and Mellitah Oil and Gas Complex, with the approval of the Government of National Accord (GNA). Khalifa Haftar gave a speech at a gathering of military and security officials in Benghazi on 14 October, during which he claimed that the entire western coastal area from Ras al-Jedir on the Tunisian border through to west Zawiyya was now under the control of the LNA. Haftar said that it was unlikely that a UN lead political solution was the only path, implying that a military solution “approved by the people” remains possible. He added that only a few areas remain outside of LNA control, and that, “Libya’s area is 1,760,000 km and the army is currently in control of 1,730,000 km, there’s only a little left.” He said that he anticipates that Zawiyya will be under LNA control soon, and it is possible that a deal between the LNA and Zuwara has already been brokered.

The clashes throughout last month in Sabratha have created social rifts that continue to simmer in the aftermath of the conflict. Local communities who support the LNA victory are demonstrating against the Sabratha Municipal Council amongst major restructuring of political and social alliances. The protestors are demanding that the mayor resign. On 12 October, the council, urging that public interest be put first, called for early local elections and encouraged cooperation in efforts to rebuild the city and support the military and police establishments. A number of fighters who fought in alliance with Anas Dabbashi Brigade were also arrested in Sabratha, Tunis and Tripoli, indicating that a large-scale coordinated effort is taking place between the LNA, the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent force (Rada) and the Tunisian authorities

On 15 October, the al-Farouk Brigade and Martyr Mohammed al-Kilani Brigade, two large anti-Haftar militias, announced that they were disbanding and volunteering their arms to the GNA, Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its presidential guard.