5 – 11 August: GNA and LNA continue to build up forces near Sirte and Jufra

Aug 12, 2020 | Libyan actors

Both the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) have continued to build up forces near Sirte and Jufra, the current conflict frontlines, over the course of the last week. Importantly, LNA forces are reported to have undertaken multiple reconnaissance missions west of al-Shwayrif, near Qaryat. This coincides with claims by online accounts sympathetic to the LNA that LNA forces’ level of awareness was raised to an assault on Sirte and Misrata.

On 5 August, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Serraj, along with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, Foreign Minister Mohamed Siyala and Deputy Defence Minister Ali Namroush met with Italian Defence Minister, Lorenzo Guerini, along with an entourage. Discussions between them culminated in what an Italian Defence Ministry Statement described as a ‘new burst of military co-operation’ that would include training of Libyan officers, non-commissioned officers and cadets in Libya and Italy.

On 6 August, Khalifa Haftar, met with the LNA Operation Room and Military Region Commanders in Benghazi. The meeting culminated in discussion on the LNA forces’ readiness for combat and the most recent frontline developments. The day before, photographs posted on social media appeared to show large radar and vertical missile tubes near the town of Ras Lanuf, thought to be of Russian origin. Although analysts also said the photographs could be showing an inflatable system as a decoy, this might also confirm the presence of a real system.  

On 7 August, the Tripoli Protection Force (TPF) released a statement entitled ‘Brotherhood, the tumour that eats away the country’s body.’ The statement criticised the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, accusing the group of corruption, penetrating Libyan institutions and denigrating notable leaders and those who fought to defend Libya.

On 8 August, al-Serraj, met with the Audit Bureau, Anti-Corruption Commission and Administrative Control Authority to declare his support for their investigations into corruption and misappropriation of public funds. Serraj stated his support for the three institutions to establish a team to create a country-wide strategy to fight corruption.