Possible war approaches Sirte and central Libya

A fighter from Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government sits in an armoured vehicle during a battle with Islamic State militants in their remaining holdouts, in neighborhood Number Three in Sirte, Libya, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny – RTSRDAK

On Friday night, local media outlets and local sources from central Libya reported advances of military formations of brigades related to Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled army toward southwestern Sirte towns.

Brigade 106 and Brigade of Tariq Bin Ziyad, which is known to be linked to Salafist-Madkhalist ideology of Saudi Arabia, were reported as advancing on Wadi Al-Hamar, Wadi Abu Najim, Wadi Al-Lood and other areas outside Sirte and close to the central region – especially Misrata.

The former spokesman for the Operation Al-Bunyan Al-Masrous that defeated ISIS in Sirte Mohammed Al-Ghasri told local news outlets in Libya that they had told the advancing forces to leave the central region and the outskirts of Sirte, “and they left.”

In the meantime, eyewitnesses in Misurata reported Saturday afternoon a number of warplanes hovering over the city.

According to analysts, the movement of Haftar-loyal forces toward Sirte and the central region hints at a new conflict that could add another nail to the Libyan coffin and thus start a new war that could very well spill over to Tripoli.

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