The Libyan National Army (LNA) took control of Bawabat Bohadi region, situated in the south of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, late Sunday and expelled armed groups therefrom.
The gunmen, who once took Bawabat Bohadi as their foothold, reportedly withdrew from the region without any clashes.
Sirte lies half-way along Libya’s long coastal road between the capital, Tripoli, and the eastern city of Benghazi.
There have been worries lately about the possibility that the LNA may sweep toward the capital, Tripoli, which would lead to a “civil war” between Tripoli-based Government of the National Accord (GNA) led by Faiez Sarraj and the LNA, led by Khalifa Haftar.
After the LNA nearly fully liberated the southern region from terrorists and armed groups, demonstrations were organized in Tripoli in demand that the eastern army enters the city.
“Some military sources say the LNA will move towards Tripoli after the announcement that the south has been secured,” read an item on an LNA website as reported by Reuters.
Hence, the UN Mission Support in Libya (UNSMIL) is scrambling to mediate between eastern commander Haftar and Sarraj.
UNSMIL succeeded on March 4 in bringing together both leaders in Abu Dhabi in a meeting, during which two power rivals agreed on the need to end the transitional phase and hold a presidential election by the end of 2019 to preserve Libya’s stability.