The New Arab has revealed that a number of Egyptian military officers had arrived in Derna’s Lemlodeh military base along with the officers of the forces led by Khalifa Haftar – the commander of Libya’s militia in east Libya – in preparation of an upcoming attack on Derna, reported Libyan Express.
The New Arab website reported from close sources to Haftar that the attack will aim at seizing the control of the city and getting rid of the Derna Shura Council fighters.
The sources said,”There had been some other meetings but they were stopped and then Egypt demanded they resume in order for it to help Haftar from the sky – warplanes’ attacks – in his campaign against Derna.”
Egypt would then – after it had helped Haftar take Derna by force – say that it engaged in the battle by airstrikes as they believed that terrorists infiltrated to their soil from Derna and carried out attacks using the border towns between Libya and Egypt, the sources indicated.
The website disclosed,”There is a wave of mobilization between Egypt and Haftar’s forces in many areas including Khalid Bin Al-Waleed camp, Martuba aviation secondary school location, Lemlodeh military base and other locations.”
It added,”In the coming days, the military operation will start to take shape and the Egyptian warplanes will be in the lead as will the Egyptian military officers, whose job is to give military tactics to Haftar’s forces.”
It added that Egypt will justify its involvement with the “fight on terror” slogan, especially that it has been stormed by a number of explosions and bombings over the last period, the last of which in Sinai last Friday, when over 235 people were killed and dozens injured.
Derna has been sieges for over one year now by the forces of Khalifa Haftar. It is suffering from lack of foods, medicines and basic needs.
Last October, over 23 people including women and children were killed in airstrikes and no party claimed the act. The attack occurred days after media outlets reported the arrival of Khalifa Haftar to Cairo.
Egypt and UAE, which are Haftar’s allies, were accused of the airstrikes, especially that Egypt has announced striking Derna more than once over the last two years.
Egypt’s al-Sisi doesn’t hesitate to announce his support to Libya’s warlord and his militia, known as the Libyan National Army(LNA),to handle the security of the North African country.
In May 2017, the Egyptian Air Force has been carrying out airstrikes in eastern Libya in coordination with Haftar’s forces, following the attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt, which claimed the lives of at least 29 people.
The Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist organization has reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
At that time, Egypt claimed that it bombed the locations of Derna Shura Council, and bombed also Houn as well.
Accordingly, media outlets reported that Houn was the epicenter for the inexplicable air-attacks, as it received air raids on locations like Al-Mujahid Brigade and Tagreft Brigade, which are part of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operation that rooted out IS from Sirte.