LNA Hits Sabri & Souq al-Hout With Airstrikes

Mar 28, 2017 | Other Jihadi Actors

On 27 March, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Benghazi Operations Room announced the start of the ‘final’ operation to retake central Benghazi. The areas of Sabri and Souq al-Hout, adjacent to the port in central Benghazi, are the final enclaves in the city controlled by a loose jihadist alliance of the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC), ISIS and Ansar al-Sharia. The LNA is currently conducting daily airstrikes in the area and hitting targets with rounds of heavy artillery. The jihadist alliance published photographs of its fighters prepared to fend off the attack. LNA sources said that on 25 March, a jihadist supply boat was targeted with gunfire and sunk a mile off the coast of Benghazi.  Other reports say that on 24 March, three boats carrying fleeing jihadists were stopped off the coast of Benghazi and a number of the occupants arrested.

On 26 March, the LNA appointed Jamal Zahawi to head the LNA’s Jufra Operations Room. The LNA conducted two airstrikes in Jufra last week and is expected to launch an assault soon. The LNA’s 12th Brigade launched an attack on 20 March on GNA-affiliated, Misratan-led forces in Temenhint airbase near Sebha, in a new offensive called ‘Moving Sands’ and is currently positioned near the base. On 25 March, a number of LNA supporters from Megarha tribes were briefly abducted by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB)-allied Jufra Tagrift brigade but were released the same day.

Clashes broke out last week between the LNA and Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) fighters in Abu Dahak area south of Derna, with the LNA losing one fighter. On 23 and 26 March, LNA aircraft conducted airstrikes against DMSC positions while naval forces are still enforcing the maritime blockade around Derna.