LIBYAPROSPECT – Heba Mahmoud
The Islamic State group (IS) controlled, Tuesday, central Sabratha city, western Libya, despite losses the group suffered in Benghazi after the army’s military assault. Local sources told, Sky News, that “the IS totally controlled central Sabratha, raised its black banners above buildings, their snipers spread among buildings and occupied security headquarter and local hospital”.
Sources said that five from Sabratha citizens and eight from the IS were killed, during confrontations, which came days after US airstrike against the group inside the city.
Sabratha events coincided with success in Benghazi, where the Libyan army managed to control the IS strongholds.
Security sources and witnesses inside Sabratha said that the city is witnessing fierce fighting between elements of Sabratha military council and elements of the IS. Witnesses said clashes are at Nahdha and Heteen areas, both sides use several weapons and ammunitions.
Members of Sabratha military council are combing the area and buildings. Sabratha mayor said “three elements of Sabratha Revolutionaries battalions were killed, other five were injured, four IS elements were killed”.
Sabratha municipal appealed all inhabitants, doctors and nurses to join the city forces and carry out their national tasks towards their city, according to a statement on Facebook.
Calm prevailed Sabratha after the IS fighters were driven out of the city, as they controlled the central of the city after sudden attack against the city, Tuesday. Witnesses said that IS elements roamed the city raising their black flags.
Libya’s representative at the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said, Tuesday, “what is happening in Sabratha is just minor for what will happen inside Tripoli, if its authorities are not prepared to abort any attacks”.
“The IS in Sabratha and rest of Libyan cities, emanated from the Libyan fighting group or Al-Qaeda not from Libyan Tribes”, Dabbashi said on Twitter.
Sources said that fighters injured at the US airstrike in Sabratha acknowledged IS other positions across out strikes of the city.
US fighter jets bombarded the IS training center south Sabratha, killed about 50 fighters, mostly from Tunisia and two Serbian nationals.
Mohamed Kilany Battalion, affiliate to Libya revolutionaries’ operations chamber demanded chief of staff to fight the IS in Sabratha. The battalion said, in a statement, that it will fight all conspiracies to spread discord among Libyans, and eliminate any attempts to creat tensions or impede consensus.
The statement denounced “cowered acts of the IS after it controlled some neighborhoods inside the city”.