By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 20 March 2015:
Foreign Minister for the internationally recognised government in Beida, Mohamed Al-Dairi, . . .[restrict]has mockingly congratulated his Misratan opponents on their recent fight-back against the Islamic State (IS).
Dairi was quoted by the French news agency AFP as saying he “welcomed favourably the course taken by factions of Libya Dawn who are fighting the Libya branch of IS in Sirte”. The statement was, however, meant with a sarcasm which initially got lost in translation.
Yesterday Misratan forces announced considerable gains against the Islamic State in Sirte saying they had pushed the majority of the militant group’s fighters out of Nawafliya to the east of the town.
Ten troops from the Misratan-led Shooruq operation were killed in a raid by Islamic State (IS) forces on a checkpoint near Nawafliya two days ago.
Fighting has raged in and around Sirte for nearly a week with scores killed in the clashes. It is the first time Misratan forces, led by 166 Battalion, have confronted the extremist group in the town.
As Foreign Minister, Dairi has been one of the Beida government’s most outspoken voices on the subject of terrorism in the country. In March, he met with his Jordanian counterpart to develop counter terrorism strategies.
Dairi has lobbied the international community on numerous occasions in efforts to rally it against extremism in the country. In February, he led the initiative at the UN to have current arms embargos against Libya lifted so that national army forces could reequip to against militants.