sarraj orders investigation of commander over threats to egypt
Last Updated : GMT 01:59:58
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Last Updated : GMT 01:59:58
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As military leaders met in Cairo

Sarraj orders investigation of commander over threats to Egypt

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Sarraj orders investigation of commander over threats to Egypt

Sarraj orders investigation of commander over threats to Egypt
Tripoli - Fatima Al Saadawy

The head of the Presidency Council, Faiez Serraj, has called on the military prosecutor to investigate a senior Bunyan Marsous commander over threats to attack Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on the pro-Islamist Tanasuh TV earlier this week following Monday’s air raids on Derna in which at least 15 civilians, mainly children, were killed, Brigadier Mohamed Gnaidi said that Libyan forces might retaliate with attacks in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia if they continued to intervene in Libya.

Serraj condemned Gnaidi’s statement as “irresponsible”. Libya, he said, enjoyed brotherly relations and cooperation with the three countries. Gnaidi had also declared that if Serraj take did not firm action against the three, he should leave the country “on board the vessel that brought him to Tripoli”.

Ever since Monday’s Derna attack, there have been persistent allegations of Egyptian  and possibly UAE airforce involvement in it.

In the same context, Civilians in Azziziya, southwest of Tripoli, are reported to have fled their homes today as random shelling resumed in the area this morning. On Wednesday night rocket attacks are said to have resulted in the death of a child with one other person wounded. Several buildings are also said to have been damaged.

In response, there were demonstrations today in Azziziya and the surrounding district, with protestors blaming the Presidency Council (PC) for the attacks. Angry Wirshefana elders have also said that the area would be vigorously defended.

The fighting started yesterday when a joint force consisting of members of the Special Operations Force, led by Major Imad Trabelsi and ostensibly linked to the Libyan National Army (LNA), and a unit under Osama Juwaili, the PC’s western region military commander, launched an attack on the 4th Brigade camp in Azziziya.

Consisting of local militiamen, the brigade is led by Omar Tantoush, head of the Wirshefana Military Council. The 26th Brigade camp and the Azziziya Training Centre are also reported to have been attacked.

Trabulsi has accused the 4th Brigade of harbouring members of the pro-Qaddafi Popular Front for the Liberation of Libya as well as rebels from Darfur in Sudan. He had earlier ordered Tantoush to evacuate the camp and hand it over to him. He is also reported saying that the operation was additionally targeted at criminals in the Wirshefana area as well as ensuring the reopening of the road between Hosh Al-Seteen and Zahra bridge on the Swani road.

The accusation about supporting pro-Qaddafi elements refers to Mabrouk Ahnish who was arrested in the area over a fortnight ago along with a Dafuri militia leader and then handed over to the Special Deterrence (Rada) forces in Tripoli. His militia in the Brak Al-Shatti area subsequently cut of the water supply to the capital in a bid to force Rada to release him, but it has no succeeded and much of the city still remains without water.

Tantoush was previously allied to the LNA and was appointed by its Tripoli Operations Room in 2015 to take control of all checkpoints on the coast road east of the city. However, he broke with the LNA a year ago and Khalifa Hafter replaced him with Trabulsi. There is mystery this evening, however, at who exactly ordered the attack.

Trabulsi has been quoted saying that the joint operation had been authorised by Hafter. However, the LNA general command has said that it did “not issue any orders to any of its units in the Western region” to carry out any military action. The PC’s chief of staff, Major-General Abdulrahman Al-Tawil, has likewise denied ordering any military action in the area.

Despite answering to rival military commanders, both Trabelsi and Juwaili are from Zintan and the operation has widened the growing rupture between it and its former Wirshefani allies, both of whom were regarded as the vanguard of LNA forces in the west.

While Zintan Minitary Council is reported ordering Wirshefana locals to keep away from the action, Wirshefana elders and officials have accused Juwaili and Trabulsi of trying to subjugate the area ahead of A Zintani attempt to move back to Tripoli.

On the other hand, The purpose behind the Libyan military delegation meetings held in Cairo is to discuss “restructuring the Libyan army,” said Libyan army spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari in a video statement Wednesday.

Mesmari confirmed that the delegation meetings held in Cairo under Egypt’s auspices to discuss the unification of the Libyan military establishment is still ongoing, denying what media outlets have been publishing about assigning figures in military leadership positions or an intention to target any armed groups.

On Monday, Libyan military delegations started their meetings in Cairo to discuss the unification of Libyan military establishments.

 

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sarraj orders investigation of commander over threats to egypt sarraj orders investigation of commander over threats to egypt

 



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