By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 13 April 2017:
The Libyan National Army (LNA) has resumed its aerial assault of the Third Force-held Tamenhint airbase, north-east of Sebha. There was an attack yesterday and locals in Sebha today told the Libya Herald that they again heard aircraft over the town heading toward the base.
In what is said to have been a reprisal, Misratan forces late last night were reported to have attacked the LNA-controlled airbase in Brak Al-Shatti with Soviet-era aircraft, killing five.
Yesterday, there were also reports that a unit belong to the Mohamed Ben Nayel’s 12th Brigade, part of the Libyan National Army, had surrounded the village of Samnu, east of Tamenhint, which Misrata’s Third Force said it recaptured on Monday. At the time, the Presidency Council’s defence ministry the spokesman, Mohamed Al-Ghasri, said that Nayel’s men had been “forced to flee to the mountains”.
The latest Samnu siege followed allegations that the Third Force had killed four young Salafist supporters of the LNA at a checkpoint near the village. All are said to have been from the same family.
Forces under the control of Ben Nayel now controls much of the south. One Sehba resident who travelled from Tripoli to Sebha today by road told the Libya Herald that south of Gharyan, all the numerous checkpoints were controlled by the 12th Brigade, or Ben Nayel’s Magarha tribe.
Meanwhile, Ali Kana, a prominent military figure in the region who leads a pro-Qaddafi Tuareg force, has demanded an end to fighting throughout Fezzan. He called for an immediate ceasefire, asking officials and tribal figures to facilitate it.
He previously attempted to set up a ‘Fezzan Army’, but this was brushed aside by Ben Nayel.
Kana now says he supports the National Dialogue and insistes his forces will work with any army operating under a unified political leadership accepted by the Libyan people.