Claims and counter claims over Wattiya and Misrata

By Libya Herald staff.   10 January 2015:


Claims by Libya Dawn to have shelled Wattiya airbase, the epicentre of LNA air operations in the west of the country, have been denied by Zintan Operations Room (ZOR) which controls the base. Libya Dawn (LD) forces, the Libya Herald was told by a ZOR official, were now more than 80 kilometres from the base. Moreover, the official claimed, Misratan forces had been withdrawn from the area to reinforce the Operation Sunrise bid to take over the oil ports in the east of the country and, as a result, LD forces in the west were short of weapons, manpower and equipment.


Zintani units, he alleged, were now just 10 kilometres from Zawia and again moving towards the Tunisian border.


They made a brief appearance there four weeks ago but were then forced to pull back.


Claims too from the Tripoli-offices of the Libyan news agency LANA that a helicopter from Wattiya had been involved in a “friendly fire” attack on Zintani forces and that LD forces making headway in the area were also denied by the Zintanis. “It’s just propaganda,” a Zintani source said. “They want to cheer themselves up.”


LNA sources, for their part, today said they had bombed a military store at Misrata airport (which serves as both a military and civil facility). This, however, has been denied by a reliable source in Misrata who said that there had been no air strikes anywhere near Misrata in the past 72 hours.


Yesterday, Colonel Ahmed Mismari, the spokesman for the Chief of Staff claimed that LNA planes had carried out strikes on a military camp at Misrata.


Claims and denials by both Libya Dawn and the LNA of attacks against each other continue unabated in a media war between the two that appears almost as important as the battle on the ground.

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