29 July – 4 August: LNA leader Haftar tours LNA units

Aug 5, 2020 | Libyan actors

On 1 August, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, made a visit to the LNA-aligned Tariq bin Ziyad battalion as part of a broader effort to visit all the units of the LNA in order to assess their preparedness. Haftar pledged to achieve victory, defend the homeland against aggressors and colonisers, and clear Libyan soil from Turks and mercenaries. On 29 July, LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari stated that a ceasefire could be implemented only after Turkey leaves Libya ‘completely’ and accused Turkey of wanting to use a ceasefire to smuggle more weapons and mercenaries into the country.

On 2 August, the spokesperson for the Government of National Accord (GNA) Sirte-Jufra Operations Unit, Abdulhadi Dirah, said that Russian Ilyushin-type planes carrying military ammunition had conducted five flights to Sirte and Jufra. Dirah added that two more flights had been made from Syria to Benghazi carrying fighters from Syria. On 27 July, the GNA Sirte-Jufra Operations Room spokesman, Brigadier Abdul Hadi Dara, claimed that GNA-aligned forces on the frontline were waiting to hear on a political conclusion to see them enter Sirte rather than undertake an armed assault. The forces said they would pursue a military offense should this not move forward. On 29 July, Mismari said that the LNA has reinforced its combat axes west of Sirte, and has also strengthened its troops in Jufra and across the Oil Crescent.

On 29 July, Libya’s Presidential Council (PC) said that it had formed a committee to investigate the visit of French writer Bernard-Henri Lévy to Libya on 25 July. The committee is headed by a member of the internal security apparatus and includes the deputy ministers of interior and transportation as well as intelligence officers.

On 28 July, clashes occurred between the armed forces under the command of Muhammed Baroni (aka ‘al-Far’) and another armed group aligned with the GNA in Zawiyya. The clashes are reported to have been linked to the recent clashes and targeted killings attacks in in Zawiyya.

On 28 July, Libyan Ambassador to the UN Taher al-Sunni said during a closed UN Security Council meeting that the ‘selective’ approach of the UN sanctions committee was not helpful in stopping violations of the UN arms embargo, and that some countries were using the committee for political gains. He further complained about Emirati, Egyptian and Russian support to LNA commander Haftar, adding that ‘many countries are publicly dealing with parallel institutions in the country, providing them with money, weapons and mercenaries to kill Libyans’.

On 27 July, the Tubruq-based House of Representatives (HoR) Speaker Aqeela Saleh met with his Moroccan counterpart, Speaker of Parliament Habib al-Malki, in Rabat. Following the meeting, Saleh issued a statement in which he praised Morocco’s ‘great understanding’ for what is happening in Libya. The following day, the head of the Tripoli-based High Council of State (HCS), Khalid al-Mishri, spoke at a press conference in Rabat alongside Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. He added that the HCS and the Tubruq-based HoR have the potential to reach a political solution.