Egyptian military prepares to attack Libya’s eastern city in support of Haftar

Commander of the self-styled army in east Libya Khalifa Haftar (Left) and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (Right) in a meeting in Cairo. (Photo: Archive-Internet)

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 the self-styled army in east Libya – in preparation of an upcoming attack on Derna.

The attack, the New Arab website reported from close sources to Haftar, will aim at seizing the control of the city and getting rid of the Derna Shura Council fighters.

“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.” The sources told the news website.

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.

“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. 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.” The website disclosed.

It added that Egypt will justify its involvement with the “fight on terror” slogan, especially that it has been impacted 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. In last October, over 23 people including women and children were killed in airstrikes and no party claimed the act.

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.

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