By Noora Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 1 September 2014:
There were Massive missile attacks and explosions overnight in and around the Benghazi district of . . .[restrict]Buatni as Ansar Al-Sharia launched a fresh assault on Benina Airport.
The head of Saiqa Special Forces Investigations Unit, Fadel Al-Hassi, told the Libya Herald that Ansar had ceased its offensive at around midday having begun at around midnight. He said Ansar had deployed a number of armoured cars in its attempts to take the airport but that finally Special Forces had been abel to repulse the Islamists as far as Sidi Mansour.
Benina Airport and a nearby Air Defence base are the last major positions held by Operation Dignity in Benghazi since its Special Forces partners were pushed from its headquarters in Buatni at the end of Ramadan. Buatni has been the backdrop to the worst fighting in Benghazi over the last month with most residents now displaced and sheltering in schools or with friends and relatives in other parts of the city.
The commander of Operation Dignity’s airforces Adam Saqr Geroushi said his aircraft had carried out airstrikes over the Ansar held district of Sidi Faraj. Some missiles are also reported to have landed in the Islamist stronghold of Leithi. Bombing raids by Operation Dignity on Islamist strongholds have taken place since the beginning of the goup’s military campaign in May.
There have also been reports of sporadic clashes in and around Benghazi University in the past 24 hours. Believed to involve February 17 Brigade, the fighting will likely push back the reopening of the university, which it was hoped would restart classes this month.