By Aimen Amzein.
Benghazi, 19 September 2015:
There were heavy air strikes this afternoon in Benghazi’s Leithi, Gwarsha and Sabri districts following the . . .[restrict]announcement of a new military operation against the Islamic State and other militant groups in the city.
The launch of Operation Doom (Hatif) was unveiled earlier in the day by the head of Libyan armed forces, General Khalifa Hafter, at a military gathering at Benina Airbase. Almost all the army and air force top brass in Benghazi were present, includeing the head of Saiqa Special Forces, Colonel Wanis Bukhamada, and the head of the Benghazi Operations Room, Colonel Ali Elthemen.
According to Hafter, the operation will be intensive, will see greater coordination between air and ground forces, and will target the militants’ weapon and supply stores as well as their bases.
Hafter has been attacking them in the three areas for the past year. Although there has been some success, the militants, still well supplied with weapons, ammunition and men, have not been defeated and continue, largely through sniper fire, to prevent the Libya National Army (LNA) taking possession of the areas. The LNA, together with local militias directly under Hafter’s control, have resorted to heavy artillery to shell terrorist positions but while it has destroyed many buildings, it has not stopped the snipers.
Meanwhile, random missile firing, which both sides have been accused of carrying out, continues to claim innocent lives in the city.
Yesterday an eight-year old girl, named as Isra Ferjani, was killed and her 10-year old sister Nur Al-Huda wounded along with three other adults, in random missile strikes in the city’s Salami district. [/restrict]