Update Libya 1-8-2020
Interview with Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS)
Nayed: Sirte is Liberated, Turkey and its Mercenaries will be Defeated by the Libyan Army
January 8, 2020 Libya
Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS), commented on the liberation by the Libyan National Army (LNA) of the city of Sirte yesterday in a military operation that took no more than 3 hours to complete.
[Libya, 8 January 2020] – Dr Aref Ali Nayed confirmed in an interview with Sputnik yesterday that the city of Sirte and all the surrounding areas were now under the full control of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and is affiliated to the Libyan Parliament in Benghazi. He said the swift liberation of Sirte was incredible and “was the result of combined land, sea and air operations by the army.”
He said the successful operation was the culmination of “extensive intelligence networking and operations plus tribal networking and arrangements” with Libyan tribes and social components in Sirte.
He added: “Since the announcement of the illegal and invalid Turkish agreements with the Government of National Accord (GNA), all of Libya’s tribes, including the tribes in and around Sirte, have shown a surge of tremendous support for the duly elected Parliament and the Libyan National Army. It is the support of the social fabric plus the intricate planning of combined operations that have resulted in a complete and decisive victory with the total liberation of Sirte.”
This is contrary to some news reports that were based on disinformation by GNA and its affiliated media organs, including some which were published also by Sputnik Arabic. One report was that Misrata-based militias were regrouping and planning to retake Sirte and calling their colleagues to come back from Tripoli. Nayed said: “They have even announced the closure of the university to get young students to come and mobilize.” He said that he expected such attempts to totally fail because “the distance between Misrata and Sirte is a totally open area” and they would be open to aerial attacks by the LNA Air Force.
He advised Misratans saying that the most “Misrata can do now is to defend itself and I expect Misrata militias to withdraw from Tripoli on an urgent basis in order to protect Misrata.” He added, “Sirte is in firm hands including the surrounding areas, and now there is a complete land linkage between the territories controlled by the LNA in the East, Center, South and West, which helps logistical movement and makes the hold of the Libyan army over the territory of Libya to be in the vicinity of 97%.”
Regarding the possibility of Turkey sending its forces to Libya, he commented: “Turkish army forces aren’t waiting to come to Libya. They have been coming to Libya for the last six months. They have been mainly and still are mainly special forces specialized in special ops, snipers, sabotage and various other specialized operations plus trainers for special ops, communications and jamming experts, electronic warfare experts, operators of their drones or unmanned aerial vehicles”
He pointed out that Turkey had also transferred terrorists from Syria to Libya and this is something that the Russian President Putin had alerted the world several months ago, adding that the Turks were shipping terrorists from Idlib, northern Syria and other regions, and that they had already arrived in Tripoli. He said: “They have actually arrived in hundreds, some say that over a thousand have already arrived, but they are being systematically defeated by the LNA”, and that some social media sites were already morning the deaths of some of the Syrian terrorists presently in Libya.
Nayed expressed his regret that Turkey exported these terrorists to Libya instead of exporting construction materials and vital supplies, and he stressed that they would be “systematically be defeated, like all the terrorists before to the east, they were defeated in Benghazi, Derna and in the south and they will be defeated again in Tripoli and its surroundings.”
The Chairman of LIAS continued his attack on Turkey in no uncertain terms: “Turkey’s arrogant plans to reconquer Libya and to retrieve their Ottoman colony is doomed to failure.” He said that the resistance against Turkish imperialism spurred a popular movement in Libya with tribes and residents of cities, towns and oases oases demonstrating in a huge numbers. And this, he added, is also combined with regional rejection by Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and France.
Nayed thanked the Russians for their position and for refusing to take part in the Turkish plot, adding that he appreciated Russia’s support in the United Nations Security Council last night which prevented any attempt to undermine the LNA or attempt to blame it for anything. He said, “We feel confident that the regional dynamic is behind the Libyan duly elected parliament and its army and the official and only legitimate government of Libya headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Thani and we feel that the Turkish project is doomed to failure.”
Regarding the celebrations by the residents of Sirte, Nayed said: “What has happened in Sirte post liberation is a good indicator of what will happen to Tripoli post liberation. Already schools and hospitals are reopened, police are everywhere. The interior ministry has effectively taken control of all the streets and key locations. It’s already transformed from a military operation into policing operation. There is total security in the city now.”
On the steps taken by the Libyan government headed by Abdullah Al-Thini to return life to Sirte, he said: “The government of Libya headed by Mr. Abdullah al-Thini has already ordered an emergency committee for delivery of basic services from bread to medicine, to clean water—to all that is needed by the population—and to maintain the electrical grid and the communications grid. This successful coordination between military liberation forces and the government governance and policing forces is exemplary, and we expect to see exactly the same outcome in Tripoli very soon with the concerted effort of the Libyan people and the support of the social fabric of Libya, including young people inside Tripoli itself.”
The Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies concluded his interview by adding: “All the social fabric and notables of Sirte gathered last night and made a public announcement welcoming the Libyan Army and the Libyan Parliament and it’s legitimate government to Sirte, pledging support and also committing to social harmony, safety and well-being of all concerned. This dynamic between the parliament, the government, the army and the social fabric is the key to the success that we have just witnessed in Sirte, and will be the key to the success in Tripoli and the 3% that’s left of Libya.”
© Al Marsad English (2020)