By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 6 October 2017:
Responding to the takeover of Sabratha by the Anti-IS Operations Room (AIOR), the defeat of the 48th Battalion and its linked Amu Brigade, and the end of fighting there, Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj has expressed his “deep satisfaction” at the outcome. In a statement today, he also spoke of his “full appreciation” of the AIOR’s actions.
It had, he said, acted in coordination with the PC’s military and security bodies and managed to restore security in Sabratha and its surrounding area.
Both the 48th and the AIOR are official units of the PC’s defence ministry.
Serraj said that government and state institutions would work with the AIOR to put an end to all illegal military activity and ensure the town and its suburbs remained secure. Those who in future tried to destabilise Sabratha’s security would be prosecuted.
Described in the statement as commander-in-chief of Libya’s armed forces, Serraj also said that orders had been given to relevant ministries to address the urgent needs of the displaced and other citizens. This was in line with the decisions taken at his meeting on Wednesday elders from Sabratha.
Several thousand Sabrathans were reportedly forced to flee their homes because of the fighting, mainly from the town centre. They were urged today not to return until the area had been swept to make such that there were no mines or explosives still in the area.