By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli/Tunis, 21 November 2014:
Air strikes have been reported today in the Jebel Nafusa and near Bir Ghanem against . . .[restrict]Libya Dawn forces. According to a Zintan Operations Room spokesman who asked not to be named, aircraft under its control carried out the strikes. As well as Bir Ghanem, positions were hit in Hosh Al-Seteen near Gharian and Bu Sheiba, he said.
He claimed that the Zintanis had two aircraft, delivered in the past few days to the small airstrip outside the town. Until today, however, they could not be used because of a lack of aviation fuel. This had now been resolved, he explained.
In Tripoli yesterday, residents reported hearing a jet plane repeatedly circling overhead. The Hassi administration is reported to have said that it was an Egyptian or Emirati aircraft. However, the head of Operation Dignity’s air force in Benghazi, Saqr Adam Geroushi, yesterday told the Libya Herald that his forces had begun flying reconnaissance flights over the capital as well as other locations in the west ahead of a military operation to retake them.
For its part, Libya Dawn has, according to the Libya Observer (itself pro-Libya Dawn), now accused Sudan “of sending disassembled aircraft to the ex-government of Abdullah al-Thani to reassemble them inside Al-Wattiya airbase in Western Libya in order to bomb Misrata, Mietiega and Zawara airports (sic”).
The claim coincides with reports that the government has followed up on HoR threats to close the three airports as well as this in Sirte, and issued an order closing western airspace.
The Wattiya airbase, on the road from Al-Jmail to the Jebel Nafusa, is controlled by the Zintanis and Libya Dawn has on several occasions claimed it has been used to bomb its forces in and around the capital. However, the Zintanis say that it is still unusable following bombing by NATO during the 2011 revolution.
Earlier this week, the Zintan Operations Room spokesman claimed that 40 Libya Dawn vehicles had arrived at the base to try and take it over but had been driven back.
Ironically, Sudan was viewed as being pro-Libya Dawn until the end of September, and was itself accused of flying weapons and supplies to it. It came out firmly in support of the HoR in October. [/restrict]