The self-styled Libyan National Army is declaring “zero hour” in its offensive to capture the capital, Tripoli, from the UN-backed government.
The LNA, led by commander Khalifa Haftar, called on the young people of Tripoli to work with its forces, via a post on its Facebook page published early Saturday.
Meanwhile, the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli issued a statement saying it had gathered intelligence about possible airstrikes by LNA forces against key sites in the capital, including the only functioning airport.
The Government of National Accord in Tripoli said Friday it had intelligence suggesting airstrikes against the capital by Haftar’s allies — including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France — were likely. Libya sank into chaos after Muammar Qaddafi’s 2011 ouster and is now divided between rival administrations.
Meanwhile, officials said that Egypt’s air force on Friday hit more than 100 mountainous hideouts of militant groups in the city of El-Arish and the small town of Bir Al-Abd Egyptian security officials say airstrikes targeting militants are underway in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 20 insurgents. Officials said that Egypt’s air force on Friday hit more than 100 mountainous hideouts of militant groups in the city of El-Arish and the small town of Bir Al-Abd. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
The airstrikes come on the heels of a suicide bombing attack that left two killed, including a soldier and a civilian in the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid. A day earlier, militants beheaded four people and kidnapped a fifth in Bir Al-Abd, after accusing them of cooperating with security forces. Daesh claimed responsibility for both attacks. —AP