Libyan eastern forces eye entrance to Tripoli

Libyan eastern forces eye entrance to Tripoli

June 06, 2017 - 21:01
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By Abdelkader Assad, freelance journalist

Now as never before, the eastern forces of Dignity Operation in Libya, led by Khalifa Haftar, have neared their ever-longed-for dream of entering Tripoli, Libya's capital, as events started to take a new twist in central Libya late in May. 

Haftar's forces, backed by foreign aircraft cover as well as every-now-and-then Egyptian air attacks, managed to take control of Jufra district – in central Libya with all its towns including Hun, Sokna and Waddan – and its significant airbase, which for Haftar and his forces will be the takeoff to Tripoli and western Libya.

The city and all its towns are now under 24/7 security patrols by Dignity Operation – a military operation kicked off in May 2014 in Benghazi to allegedly fight terrorists and was backed by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives – and according to the spokesman of the operation, Ahmed Al-Mismari, their forces only lost 7 fighters in the takeover advance.

Jufra and its airbase was controlled by local brigades which are part of the Government of National Accord, with some positions for the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB) - a military wing that advocates the rights of the Benghazi IDPs and vows to safely return them home.

Clashes on Friday and over the week between Dignity Operation forces and BDB, plus over 20 airstrikes from Dignity Operation and foreign fighter aircraft finally led to the capture of Jufra and its airbase by Haftar's forces, thus raising a high alert for the western region about what could be next for Haftar.

Haftar vowed more than once to "invade" Tripoli and salvage it from what he described as "Muslim Brotherhood" and Al-Qaeda affiliates. 

To Haftar, all those who oppose him are terrorists and must be fought with force. 

Many social media and media outlets affiliated with Dignity Operation started since Friday to advocate for "invading" western Libya, with calls to having the next battle in Bani Walid city and then continue to Misrata and Tripoli. 

Hence, the question here remains, is it part of the ethics of the so-called Libyan army to advocate such a regional and tribal ideology and use Libyan youth and Libyan money as a fuel to keep it ablaze, keeping in mind the happiness and joy that were displayed by Dignity Operation leaders and loyalists about the Egyptian airstrikes on Derna and Hun over the last week.

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Libya Observer