By Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 19 May 2015:
After yesterday’s heavy fighting, Benghazi was generally quiet today. The army claimed to have made significant . . .[restrict]gains thanks, according to Air force commander Saqr Geroushi, to better co-ordination between ground troops and pilots, as well as artillery.
Saiqa’s 319 Brigade mounted an assault to regain control of its camp in Buatni, from which it was forced out last July. The camp was partly retaken by Saiqa forces in November, They have since been subjected to a series of counter-attacks launched from the adjacent Islamist stronghold of Leithi.
It is unclear if the camp has now been completely cleared of fighters from the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council (BRSC) and Ansar Al-Sharia. However, it does appear that much of Buatni is finally in government hands with only an area abutting Leithi still bitterly disputed.
Nine soldiers were wounded in yesterday’s fighting and were taken to Jalaa hospital. Also admitted there were four members of the same family who had become the latest victims of indiscriminate firing from BRSC areas.
Benghazi Council today said that it had had enough of the rising toll of dead and injured because of the random fire from mortars, Grad rockets and anti-aircraft shells. It described the targeting of civilians as a crime against humanity. It also denounced the silence of the international community in the face of the government’s request that the arms embargo be lifted, so that the army could be given the weapons and equipment to clear Benghazi quickly and provide security for the city.