Libya: Haftar’s army in control of Derna

The Libyan national army, the self-proclaimed ANL and led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar has announced that it has taken 75% of the city of Derna, hitherto in the hands of jihadists.

Back in the city, Monday, June 4 at dawn, the ANL now dominates several strategic places, including the port of the city.

Fighting was concentrated on Tuesday, June 5th, around the port of Derna and the adjoining naval base.

After a few hours of confrontations, the ANL seized a total of five strategic sites. The clashes are now taking place in the city center.

According to a witness attached to Derna, electricity is cut off, communications are difficult. And the bombardments, very intense, last for three days.

According to this witness, the ANL controls several central districts of Derna, while the majority of civilians did not flee their homes.

According to concordant sources, about ten civilians died. The ANL lost about twenty soldiers while thirty jihadists were also killed.

Some have managed to flee to Misrata and South Lybian. Others jihadists surrendered, among them: extremist leaders with both proven contacts with the Islamic State(IS) and al-Qaeda(AQIM).

The ANL’s air force repeatedly targeted vehicles carrying jihadist leaders who were trying to flee.

In 2015, residents of Derna, rose up against ISIS and drove the organization out of their city. But local jihadists stayed in Derna.

Images broadcast by the ANL show underground tunnels dug by extremists where IS flags, religious books and weapons caches have been found.

ANL spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari says the nature of Derna’s battle is different, as the majority of Derna terrorists died during the fighting in Benghazi.

In addition, 70% of fighters in Derna are regular forces.

A senior ANL officer estimated that the battle of Derna would be over in two days. On Monday, Khalifa Haftar had already announced a close victory.

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