Libya’s LNA launches operations against Chad rebels along border

Civil unrest in Libya has seen ​​rival leaders forge alliances with rebel factions in neighbouring Chad and Sudan.

Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli
Members of the Libyan National Army commanded by Khalifa Haftar [File: Esam Omran al-Fetori/Reuters]

Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) launched air strikes against “foreign armed groups” near its border with Chad.

LNA spokesperson Ahmad Mismari said it carried out the attack on Friday after earlier having announced an operation to secure the frontier. The army hit Chadian rebel positions on the Libyan side of the border before launching an airborne assault.

Mismari promised the LNA would “no longer allow armed groups or factions to use Libyan territory to launch attacks against neighbouring countries”.

Civil unrest in Libya for the past 12 years has seen ​​rival leaders in the country forge alliances with various rebel factions in neighbouring Chad and Sudan.

Earlier in the week, Chad’s President Mahamat Idriss Deby said the army was again fighting the Libya-based Chadian Front for Change and Concord (FACT) group, which quit a ceasefire last week amid clashes.

The LNA’s target Friday was an unfinished housing complex in the remote outpost of Umm al-Araneb in Murzuq district, where more than 2,000 homes under construction have been taken over by rebel fighters and their families, said LNA chief press officer Khalifa al-Obeidi.

FACT once fought alongside the LNA as one of many armed groups involved in Libya’s civil war, according to researchers, but the two were on opposing sides during fighting two years ago when Deby’s father was killed.

Libya has been torn by conflict since a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country was then for years split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different militias and foreign governments.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies