If the Libyan National Army (LNA) succeeded in liberating southern Libya of terrorist groups, the LNA would begin measures to liberate Libya’s northern coast from Misurata to Zawya, the last terrorist footholds in Libya, spokesperson of the General Command Ahmed al-Mismari said Tuesday.
The army’s potential success in liberating the southern region would represent “a great military achievement,” he told Sky News Arabia.
The LNA launched on Tuesday an operation to liberate southern Libya from terrorist groups.
The operation aims to maintain the country’s unity, secure its resources such as oil and fuel, protect Libya’s north-eastern oil crescent from terrorists attacks, deliver humanitarian aid to southern citizens and prevent crimes in the south as well as the illegal immigration.
This is not the first operation that has been launched in the south. The LNA carried out on 9 October the “Hawd Murzuq” Operation, a joint task force operation to remove Sudanese, Chadian and local insurgent groups allegedly responsible for abductions and loot in several Libyan regions.
The southern area has arguably long been neglected by the Libyan rival powers: the Presidency Council (PC), led by Faiez Sarraj in the west and the LNA, led by Commander Khalifa Haftar.
Considered as a meeting point of several borders from the south with Sudan, Chad and Niger, many terrorist groups and gangs have exploited the absence of state control in the area to form a foothold from which they can launch their attacks against Libyan institutions, grib their control over oilfields, Libya’s main resource. The chaos has hindered delivering humanitarian assistance to the southern citizens.
This comes alongside illegal immigration, as many migrants from the continent and beyond cross Libya’s southern borders to head to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea.