Viraj Pattni

Viraj Pattni

Senior Analyst

11/04/2017

11/04/2017

Libya: Fighting north of Sabha on 10/04/2017 and 11/04/2017

According to SDB (also known as BDB), an LNA MiG23 took off from Brak airbase and struck the Third Force in Samnu and Temenhint airbase. Three from the Third Force and three civilians are reported to have been killed by LNA airstrikes in Samnu. However, according to the commander of the Misrata air force ops room, three were killed and five, part of the GNA’s force, were wounded by LNA airstrikes in Samnu.
SDB report three Third Force fighters were killed and a further seven were wounded when LNA jets struck Temenhint airbase. However, other sources claim there were no deaths caused by airstrikes in Temenhint airbase. SDB, yesterday, released pictures of Ahmed al Tajouri at Temenhint airbase.
The LNA Sirte ops room report LNA jets also targeted and destroyed armed vehicles near Samnu headed toward Temenhint airbase. LNA ground forces are reported to have countered their progress towards Temenhint airbase. Multiple sources also claim that the LNA arrested Chadian mercenaries near Temenhint airbase.
SDB claim they and the Third Force are in control of Temenhint airbase and Samnu. The Sabha-Jufra road is also reported to have been reopened by the Third Force. The LNA 12 Brigade and supporting forces are likely moving through the desert area south west towards Temenhint and Samnu from Brak airbase, possibly looking to position themselves on higher ground near Temenhint airbase (in the desert) and to surround the airbase (which they have claimed to have done in the past).
The Third Force and the GNA’s MOD, who recently launched Operation Wrath of the Sahara, have sent reinforcements towards Sabha and Jufra, as have the LNA, and are looking to control Brak airbase. The LNA 12 brigade were involved in clashes in Samnu with the Third Force. Two LNA soldiers are reported to have been killed. Pictures emerged of 12 brigade trucks in the desert near Temenhint airbase (likely east of Samnu towards Brak airbase). It is said they were retreating from their positions in Samnu. In the last few days, fighting has spread from Temenhint to Samnu. The road between Samnu and Temenhint was closed and will likely remain shut as fighting continues. Fighting has affected fuel supply and trade to Sabha. Ten fuel stations have been chosen to operate 24 hours a day to ease the fuel shortage in Sabha.
Three weeks ago, the LNA designated the area from Sabha to Jufra as an area of military operations. Local tribal and municipal leaders and CSOs have warned against dragging the south into conflict and are looking to secure a ceasefire agreement.
Today, so far, there have been no reports of fighting in Temenhint and Samnu.
SDB Field Commander Ahmed al Tajouri (wearing black, Puma shirt)
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