By Farah Waleed and Noora Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 11 September 2014:
Across Benghazi, Ansar Al-Sharia and its allies appear to have been . . .[restrict]quietly withdrawing from a number of their positions, possibly in anticipation of a possibly imminent Operation Dignity counter-offensive.
Residents in Gwarsha, a long-held Ansar Al-Sharia stronghold, told the Libya Herald that the Islamist group had abandoned its checkpoints in the area and had all but vanished, a stark contrast to their usual robust presence.
Similarly Benghazi’s Revolutionary Shura Council, the body which represents the coalition of Islamist and Islamist-leaning forces in the city, has left a Ministry of Defence building near 17 February Brigade’s headquarters in Garyounis. It has removed the banner proclaiming its presence, which was previously placed on the front of the building.
Operation Dignity troop movements into Benghazi have also been reported today. A large convoy, apparently part of an even larger deployment of troops, has been seen rolling into the eastern outskirts of Benghazi unopposed.
Meanwhile, reports of the arrival of 300 Tebu troops from the southeast and southwest of the country yesterday to bolster Dignity forces were underestimated, Operation Dignity Commander Adam Saqr Geroushi told this paper. He said just under 1,000 of the troops had arrived from Kufra, Jalu and other Tebu towns and villages.
Another 500 are expected according to other sources.
Two days ago Operation Dignity said it was staging a massive assault on Benghazi, offering its enemies one last chance to surrender.