On Monday, the Libyan government forces achieved a great and unexpected victory after recovering two strategic cities from the cities of the capital, Tripoli.
They are located on the vital coastal road, linking Tripoli and Tunisia, as well as 5 towns west of Tripoli.
On Monday, Libyan National Accord government forces claimed control of 6 cities west of the capital, Tripoli, that were subject to the militaries of Khalifa Haftar.
Mohamed Qanounou, spokesman for the Al-Wefaq government forces, which is internationally recognized, said that their forces took control of the cities of Sabratha, Sorman, Al-Ajilat, Al-Jameel, Rikdalin and Zalatn, west of the capital, Tripoli, according to a statement published by the media center for the “Barkan Al-Anger” military operation.
Kanunu added that their forces were hunting the remnants of the fleeing terrorist militias, and were continuing their progress according to the plan laid down by the operations room, as part of the “Storm of Peace” operation.
It was reported that the extension of control over the six cities means that the Libyan government forces have tightened their control over the entire road running from the Tunisian border in the west to the Abu Qurain area in the east.
Although the militia of Haftar announced, on March 21, the approval of a humanitarian truce to focus on efforts to combat the Corona virus, it continues an offensive that began on April 4, 2019 to control the capital, the seat of government.
In response to ongoing violations, the Libyan government recently launched a “peace storm” military operation against the Haftar militia, which the government has contested legitimacy and authority in the oil-rich country.
The liberation of the cities of Sorman (60 km west of Tripoli) and Sabratha (70 km west of Tripoli) comes just one day after repelling a violent attack on the Abu Qurain area, the southeastern gate of the strategic city of Misurata (200 km east of Tripoli).
After these victories, all the major coastal cities west of Tripoli became in the hands of the Al-Wefaq government, similar to Al-Zawiya (50 km west of Tripoli), Sorman, Sabratha, Mellita (80 km west of Tripoli), Zuwara (100 km west of Tripoli), Abu Kamash (170 1 km west of Tripoli) to the Ras Jdeir crossing on the Tunisian border.
Al-Wefaq forces also controlled all five towns between the coastal strip and Jabal Nafusa (Western Mountain) that Haftar militias entered, after Al-Wefaq forces stormed the Al-Wataya air base last March, namely: Al-Ajailat, Al-Jumayyil, Rikdalain, Zalten, and Al-Asa.
There is nothing left for Haftar in the western region, except the Al-Wattia Air Force Base, which is at the mercy of the raids of the Al-Wefaq airplanes, in addition to isolated towns in the western mountain such as Al-Asaba and Al-Orban, while the city of Zintan was neutralized due to the internal division that paralyzes the movement of Ansar Haftar.
Air superiority and foster incubator
Two factors played the main role in achieving the successive and quick succession of the Accord Forces over the militias of the retired Major General Khalifa Hifter:
The first is the dedication of Al-Wefaq Aviation to dominate the skies over the battle in the western region since Al-Wefaq forces stormed the Al-Wattia Air Force Base on March 25 and captured 27 members of the Haftar militia, including pilots and aviation technicians.
The storming was followed by intense raids on the base of Al-Watiyah, which is considered the largest and only for Haftar that covers the entire western region, which led to its neutralization, especially after the destruction of 3 Sukhoi 22 planes, which were stationed at the base, and a drone plane was shot down south of the town of Al-Ajailat (80 km southwest of Tripoli). ).
Al-Wefaq forces, Sorman and Sabratha, entered with absolute air superiority, while the Haftar militias were unable to provide any air support to their personnel in the two cities.
Even after the Haftar militia in Sabratah tried to send support to its personnel in Sorman at the beginning of the attack, Al-Wefaq Aviation managed to bomb and disperse the support convoy, which led to the fall of Sorman so quickly.
The second: The Al-Wefaq forces possess a wide popular incubator in Sorman and Sabratha, and Tripoli has even embraced a large number of youth from the two cities, who were driven out of them because of the treason and methods of deception used by Haftar to penetrate inside them.
The sons of Sorman and Sabratha lead the Al-Wefaq forces that attacked the Haftar militia in the two cities, due to their good knowledge of the city’s entrances and exits, and their previous contact with individuals inside the two cities for the sake of inquiries, which is what pages loyal to the Haftar militia described as “betrayed.”
The plan to liberate Sorman and Sabratha is similar to the operation to liberate the city of Gharyan (100 km south of Tripoli), on June 26, 2019, through a rapid ground attack from outside the city preceded by intense air strikes, and the movement of sleeper cells from inside the city to confuse the militia of Haftar and push it to collapse and withdraw Rapid.
How did Sorman and Sabratha join the Tripoli aggression in 2019?
The incursions of the Haftar militias began in Sabratah in March 2017, under the slogan of combating the terrorist organization “ISIS”, which was exposed at that time, in coordination with pro-government brigades, while Sorman was infiltrated by the Haftar militia under the slogan of combating irregular migration in September. 2017, and clashed with a battalion loyal to the reconciliation government, and expelled him from the city.
With the start of the Haftar attack on Tripoli on April 4, 2019, the two cities and their security forces joined their militias along the lines of Gharyan and Tarhuna (90 km southeast of Tripoli).
These four cities loyal to the Al-Wefaq government (Tarhuna, Ghorban, Sabratah, and Sarman) became the four pillars that General Al-Sharq tried to install his forces in the western region, after losing the city of Zintan (170 km southwest of Tripoli) after its division between his supporters and supporters of the reconciliation government.
Haftar’s plan to control Tripoli was dependent on the attack from three axes: the eastern axis, which starts from Tarhuna, a western axis, which originates from Sabratha and Sarman, and a southern axis, which is the heart, starting from Gharyan.
At the beginning of the attack, it appeared that the Sabratha and Sorman axis, as Haftar’s weakness, after he suffered a severe defeat, after the capture of more than 120 of its members and the loss of about 40 armed vehicles, and the flight of the battalion leaders, which led to the freezing of this axis completely, despite some skirmishes with the battalions The corner of Al-Wefaq forces recently, with the aim of pushing it to withdraw its veteran fighters from the front lines south of Tripoli.
With the fall of Sorman and Sabratha, and Gharyan before them, Haftar lost three pillars of his military operation, leaving him with only a lien, which Al-Wefaq forces indicated the possibility of launching a military operation soon to neutralize it.
The next stage may witness the focus of Al-Wefaq forces on betrayal and the towns of the four districts (Souk El Khamis Amseil, Souk El Sebia, Souk El Ahad, Souk El Sabt), or the so-called eastern arc of the Battle of Tripoli, at which point the Haftar militias will be completely surrounded in neighborhoods south of the capital.