By Libya Herald reporter.
Sebha, 5 April 2017:
Tamenhint airbase came under air attack this morning. There were reported to have been three separate sets of strikes on the base, the first at around 10.30 am local time targeting the main entrance. Local residents in Tamenhint village say that following the first strike there was gunfire on the other side of the huge base as Libyan National Army (LNA) forces under General Mohamed Ben Nayel undertook a coordinated push to oust Misrata’s Third Force troops.
Before the first strike, an LNA plane, thought to be a Sukhoi, was seen over Sebha heading for Tamenhint. Locals in Tamenhint village, however, say two aircraft were involved. An hour after the first strikes another plane, or possible the same one, was again seen over Sebha.
The third strike took place at around 12.30 local time.
There had been an uneasy standoff between LNA units and the Third Force for two weeks, as tribal elders from the Fezzan sought to ensure a peaceful resolution to the continued presence of the Misratan troops.
However, Third Force commander Jamal Treiki has insisted his men will not withdraw from Tamenhint unless ordered to do so by the Presidency Council and its defense minister.
Last week, LNA forces were understood to be massing in Traghen, roughly 150 kilometres south of Tamenhint airbase. The aircraft involved in today’s strikes, however, are thought to have flown from Brak Al-Shatti airbase. It was captured by Ben Nayel’s forces in early December