By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 9 September 2015:
Heavy fighting which broke out this afternoon near Sabratha between local revolutionaries backed by Western Libya . . .[restrict]Shield fighters and a Libyan National Army (LNA) Supported Forces unit, intensified during the evening and triggered other clashes in Sayad, west of Janzour. The coast road was reported to be closed.
Involving heavy weapons, the fighting in Sayed is said to be between Warshefana forces and the Fursan Janzour brigade, part of the revolutionaries’ alliance supporting the General National Congress in Tripoli.
Both sets of clashes have, however, been condemned by Colonel Idris Madi, the head of the LNA’s Tripoli (formerly Western) Operations Room based in Zintan. In a statement, he said that what was happening had not been launched by the LNA, was an illegal operation and the responsibility of those involved.
Earlier there were unconfirmed reports that four members of the Supported Forces unit, fighting in an area known as Ras Yusuf between Sabratha and Ajilat, had been captured alive by the revolutionaries but were then taken to Sabratha and shot.
For their part the Supported Forces, many of them from Ajilat, claim to have killed one of the revolutionaries and captured another, said to be from Sorman.
Reinforcements have been sent to the revolutionaries from Zawia, from the Furqan brigade, one of a number of local Islamist brigades controlled by Abu Obeida Al-Zawi. It is further reported that fighters from Sabratha, Zawia and Sorman who last week were said to have moved in to “protect” the Mellitah gas complex near Zuwara have gone to join the fight.
In an unrelated development on Tuesday night but equally indicative of the lack of LNA control over local forces, there was fighting between a Supported Forces unit and LNA military police on the road between Al-Assa and Rigdaleen in the Jebel Nafusa. The skirmishes, said to have involved the Warshfana’s Al-Keba brigade led by Mohammed Eshtewi, did not result in any casualties.
It is the first time that there have been clashes in the region between units supposedly under the control of the western Libya operations room based in Zintan and supporting the House of Representatives in Tobruk. [/restrict]