24 Apr-May 1: Haftar Aggravates Allies in Sebha, Continues Targeting Airbases in the South

May 2, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 28 April, the Libyan National Army (LNA) conducted two airstrikes against a camp controlled by the Martyr Ahmed Gnefied militia in the town of Sukna, Jufra. The militia is linked to the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) and their camp reportedly housed an ammunitions cache.

On the same day, the LNA conducted airstrikes on Teminhint airbase which is still held by the Government of National Accord (GNA) aligned Misratan Third Force, in alliance with the local Hasawna tribe. These latest airstrikes against Temenhint end a three-day ceasefire previously announced by the LNA. The LNA launched the offensive to try and take control of the airbase in March.

On 29 April, Tebu forces led by Col. Abdullah Hamed al-Tabawi and affiliated with the LNA managed to take control of Kharrouba airbase, also known as al-Khuwaymat airbase, 100km south-west of Sarir oil field in south-eastern Libya. The base was previously under control of a BDB unit led by Zeyad Balaam.

Khalifa Haftar’s long-standing alliance with the Tebu, a non-Arab nomadic tribe present across much of southern Libya, is threatened by LNA airstrikes in Sebha. The  LNA’s night-time bombing of a Tebu-controlled prison and military camp known, as the Security Committee camp, near Sebha on 24 April killed 5 and injured 9, and allowed 80 prisoners to escape. The strike caused a large outcry amongst the Tebu community, who have so far been staunch allies of Haftar’s LNA.