Forces loyal to the Libyan government, recognized by the international community, would be “very close” to conquering the strategic city of Sirte, the gateway to the historic region of Tripoli, and the country’s main oil resources.
A spokesman for government forces, Mostafa al Mayai, said they have achieved unprecedented strength near Sirte. “The outbreak of the struggle for the liberation of Sirte is self-evident and very close,” said Al Mayai in statements to the German news agency DPA.
Al Mayai has highlighted that on the offensive they also intend to regain the oil fields now under the control of the Libyan National Army’s armed forces, the militia led by “warlord” Jalifa Haftar. “The ultimate goal is to end the uprising and to expand (government) control over Libyan territory,” he said.
Egypt, Haftar’s main ally alongside the United Arab Emirates, has warned that Sirte is the “red line” that the Tripoli government should not pass, and has even threatened direct military intervention in this case.