(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Brigadier General Mohamed al-Gasri, spokesman for a newly formed military operations room in Misrata, during an interview with Reuters on May 10.
The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has announced that its military forces were preparing to advance on ISIS held Sirte.
“We are ready and we are preparing our security arrangements to attack Sirte,” said Brigadier General Mohamed al-Gasri, spokesman for the GNA’s military operations room based in Misrata, to Reuters.
Al-Gasri, who was speaking inside the GNA’s new military headquarters in Misrata told Reuters, “we need logistical support from the international community, and we need weapons and ammunition… Whether they’re going to support us or not, we will be there soon. We will not stand and watch.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj called on the international community to assist Libya in its fight against ISIS by lifting the UN sanctioned arms embargo placed on Libya.
It has been reported that a large number of the GNA’s military force consists of armed forces from Misrata who have transferred their allegiance from the General National Congress (GNC) to the unity government.
On Friday, The GNA’s Presidential Council (PC) announced the establishment of a military operation room to oversee the campaign against ISIS after the extremist group carried out suicide attacks at the Abu Grein and Sadada checkpoints last week killing 8 local security forces and wounding over hundred.
The PC, which assumed the function of Supreme Commander in Chief of the Libyan army, also called on all political and armed groups in Libya to unite under a central military command and refrain from carrying out any separate campaigns against ISIS in Sirte, warning that doing so could lead to civil war.
Nevertheless, despite the warning from Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, General Khalifa Haftar, announced his own separate operation.
Western nations have expressed their faith that the GNA will be able to unify Libya’s various armed factions under a centralized military command against ISIS, with the west promising to provide military training for Libyan forces if requested by the unity government.