Libya's official government targets ISIS in Derna

Libya's rival government conducts air strikes on ISIS checkpoints in the eastern city of Derna

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A senior commander of Libya's rival assembly told Reuters that House of Representatives (HoR) government conducted air strikes against ISIS in the eastern city of Derna on Tuesday.

Inner turmoil in Libya, which began with the HoR’s attempted forced closure of the Tripoli bassed General National Council (GNC) in August, has allowed for ISIS and other armed groups to take up residency in the country. 

"We ask all residents to stay away from checkpoints and ISIS locations," Tariq Joroushi, an air force commander of Libya, told Reuters.

"We also warn fishers and tankers against approaching the coast all the way to Derna,” he added.

The air strikes marked one of few HoR efforts to combat ISIS in its hub located near the HoR capital of Tobruk. 

ISIS was able to make incursions from the eastern Libyan city to western parts of the country after having faced little resitance from HoR forces, allowing them to briefly capture the city of Siirte where they kidnapped and executed foriegn workers and migrants. 

The 166th Misratan Brigade, loyal to the GNC, recaptured the city shortly afterwards as forces from Misrata began fighting ISIS forces on the ground across the country.

According to Reuters, the HoR was accused of hitting civilian targets indsicriminently because of their use of “outdated planes” lacking accuracy, however HoR air strikes have regularly targeted airports, factories, sea ports and oil infrastructure in areas of GNC control in western Libya with one strike killing civilians in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Tripoli. 

The GNC holds greater influence in Libya's internal affairs and economic institutions than than (HoR). However, the HoR has enjoyed a greater audience from some members of the international community and ongoing UN peace talks aim to unify the two bodies.


TRTWorld and agencies