High-level security meeting discusses situation in Zawiyya as GNU continues drone strikes

May 30, 2023 | Libyan actors

On 30 May, Presidential Council (PC) Head Muhammad al-Menfi, PC Deputy President Abdullah al-Lafi, Government of National Unity (GNU) Prime Minister Abdul Hameed Dabaiba, GNU-aligned Libyan Army Chief of Staff Mohamed al-Haddad and Western Coast Military District Commander Maj Gen Salaheddin al-Namroush held a staff meeting on the situation in Zawiyya. It focused on the progress of the drone strikes. Allegedly, a Turkish officer also participated in the meeting. They also expressed their intention to cooperate more with the Attorney General to arrest specific smugglers and human traffickers. Later that day, the blockade of the refinery in Zawiyya ended and the coastal road reopened. Nevertheless, GECOL fears that the still tense situation in Zawiyya could lead to a renewed blockade. Drone strikes on the greater Zawiyya area continue almost every day. Among the targets hit are fuel tanks, vehicles, buildings, boats, and the houses of militia leaders and local politicians. Most of those under attack belong to the Abu Zariba clan, to other clans of the Awlad Abu Hmeira tribe and their allies. This campaign – waged through the GNU’s ‘Electronic Aviation Apparatus’ (EAA) – is far reaching and has been extended to combat other fuel smugglers. Bombs have been dropped over Al-Ajaylat and Zuwarah. Drone surveillance flights are also taking place over other parts of the far Western Region, including over Abu Kammash and Zeltan (both west of Zuwarah towards the Tunisian border). In Zuwarah, two fuel depots of smuggling gangs and the main Zuwarah port were hit. Massive fires have broken out in the area of the stricken tanks. The Zuwarah Security Directorate has asked all citizens to stay away from “suspicious places” as they could be attacked from the air. On 2 June, west of Al-Ajaylat, fighting took place between local militias and the militias of the Dabaiba ally, Mohamed Al-Bahroun (aka Al-Far).