Anti – 27 June 2014

Jun 27, 2014 | Libyan actors

Haftar’s forces claimed substantial gains against Islamist groups over the past week. Ansar al Sharia has seemingly regrouped in its traditional strongholds in the Sidi Faraj and Hawari districts. Given that these areas have seen some of the heaviest airstrikes and ground clashes, the current situation appears to suggest that a stalemate has emerged in the Benghazi area, as Haftar’s forces have remained based on the western outskirts of the city, unable to break into the city itself.

On 20 June, Libyan air force units operating under the banner of Operation Dignity attacked a ship loaded with weapons. The vessel was docked at the port of Ras al-Hilal, west of Derna. Operation Dignity spokesperson Mohamed Hijazi said that the ships were anchored on the beach and were loaded with weapons and ammunition from Benghazi. After the aerial bombardment of the vessel at Ras al-Hilal, five Grad rockets hit the nearby Tobruk airbase — presumably retaliatory fire from Islamist militants.

Seven people were killed on 21 June in an attack on the Benghazi port following a major drug bust. Port guards were destroying a major hashish cache seized from a cargo ship when they came under attack. The Saiqa Brigade responded swiftly and took control of the port. Seven tonnes of hashish were seized in the operation. This was not the only recent drug seizure; an estimated 61 tonnes of drugs were also uncovered seized in the cities of Benghazi, Tripoli, and Sirte.

On 23 June, police dismantled a 6-kilogram TNT IED in the Sidi Hussein area of Benghazi. On the same day, the Joint Security Room deployed forces to enforce a curfew from midnight to 6 am.

According to the Libyan Herald, two Turkish workers were kidnapped in Tripoli, after a representative of Operation Dignity demanded that all Turks leave Eastern Libya on 21 June. Operation Dignity accused the Turks and Qataris of acting against General Haftar and engaging in espionage. The Herald also reported that up to 600 Turkish workers, including 417 Turks working on a power plant in Sirte, have left the country after the threat. Another 200 Turks left Libya’s East this week, according to the government.