(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
In an interview published last week by French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj reiterated that his government would not be seeking international intervention and that his forces were close to gaining victory over ISIS in Sirte.
“Total victory against ISIS in Sirte is near. We will be able to also take control of all these zones it has occupied,” he said.
Sarraj said that he hoped that the war against the terrorist group would unite Libya, however he also expressed that the road to unification could be long.
“We also hope that this war against terrorism can unite Libya. But it will be long. And the international community knows it,” he said.
Amid speculation that western nations, such as the US, Britain, France, and Italy are carrying out ground operations in Libya, the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has repeatedly stated that while the unity government has asked for weapons and logistical help from the international community, Libya would be fighting against terrorism on their own.
“It is true that we need help from the international community in our war against terrorism and it is true that we have already received. But we are not talking about international intervention,” he said in the interview.
He also said that the intervention of ground troops is “contrary to our principles. That is why we want to avoid.”
“We need however satellite images, information, technical aids … No bombs,” he added.
Senior Libyan commander Mohamed al-Gasri said that GNA forces have pushed into the ISIS stronghold and are now fighting militants on the streets in Sirte.
The Libyan army took control of another important location, the Al Saadi military camp, in southern Sirte yesterday, after a week of significant victories against ISIS militants.
Al-Gasri stated that the Albinyan Almarsous (Operation Strong Foundation) forces aim to trap the terrorist group further in the city and impose a siege on the SIte to cut off the terrorist group’s their supply routes and prevent them from fleeing.