17-24 October: The LNA and Haftar himself, strengthen ties in Libya’s west

Oct 25, 2017 | Libyan actors

Since taking control over Sabratha in early October, Khalifa Haftar has strengthened his relationship with several important military leaders in the west of Libya. This week Misratan General Salem Juha, announced that it was important for Haftar to remain in control of the national army for the time being. It is also reported that Haftar secretly met with the GNA’s Commander of the Western Region from Zintan, Usama al-Juwaili during his trip to the UAE earlier last week. The two may have reached a deal to work together in western Libya.

On 23 October, Juwaili’s forces launched a successful assault against the Kwedierri militia compound located between Sabratha and Zawiyya, seizing the compound and the Kwedierri’s munitions the same day.

In Sabratha, the LNA-affiliated Anti-Isis Operation Room (AIOR) headed by Col. Omar Abdul Jalil continues to extend its power throughout the city. On 20 October, another large militia in Sabratha, the Sareyyat al-Orouba, handed over its weapons and vehicles over to the AIOR and disbanded itself. Some of its members have integrated into the LNA while others were released.

On 17 October, intense clashes erupted at Tripoli port after members of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Presidential Guard and the Nawasi Brigade (aka the north Tripoli branch of the Central Security Force) tried to take the port by force. The clashes quickly subsided after the Isnad militia, which controlled the port and up until two weeks ago had a flexible relationship with all Tripoli militias, decided to peacefully evacuate. The Presidential Guard secured the facility on 22 October, and it is now fully operational.

The Megarha tribe in Brak al-Shatti continued its disruptive threats designed to pressure Tripoli’s Special Deterrent Force (Rada) into releasing Mabrouk al-Hniesh. On 18 October, Megarha fighters threatened to bomb the pipeline which carries gas from south-west Libya to the Mellitah complex. A day later on 19 October, they turned off the valves on the Great Man-Made River pipeline, effectively cutting off the water supply to Tripoli.