By Ajnadin Mustafa and Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 1 November 2015:
Libyan National Army (LNA) reinforcements are reported to have arrived in the Wershefana . . .[restrict]towns of Aziziya and Mamoura to bolster defences against any attack from the hardline core of Libya Dawn. Supplies of weapons and ammunition are also said to have been sent to the area.
The hardliners appear determined on revenge for Tuesday’s helicopter downing west of Janzour in which a number of top Dawn commanders were killed along with other passengers on board.
Despite a meeting last week between Wershefana and Zawia elders at which the former declared that their people were not responsible for the attack and the latter, accepting it, said there would be no renewed attacks on the Wershefana, there are reports of a military build-up in Tripoli ahead of a planned assault.
Tanks, armoured and other military vehicles are being gathered in the capital’s Hadba district by three militias: those led by Abdulghani Kikli Ghnaiwa and Salah Marghani, and the followers of the late Salah Al-Burki. They are in alliance with Zawia’s militant Islamist warlord Abu Obeida Al-Zawi who has spurned local efforts at peace with the Wershfana. He controls a number of militias in the area, including the Farouq Brigade and an alliance of smaller ones known as the Saraya Judaim. He is now reported to be planning a new brigade to unite all of them in a move aimed at making himself the major power in the area.
Meanwhile, further west, in Al-Jmail, LNA forces from Wattiya airbase have been moving to consolidate their position and reimpose law and order on the streets following their recapture of it and parts of Ajilat from Libya Dawn last week. The LNA’s Abubakr Sadiq Brigade and Brigade 127 have arrested a number of men suspected of smuggling drugs and foodstuffs. They are also reported to have arrested the alleged killers of a Sudanese worker in the town. [/restrict]