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Libya: Sarraj Forms Third Operations Room to Fight ISIS | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Chairman of Libyan Presidential Council and Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj

Cairo-Mayor of Sabratah Hussein al-Thawadi has welcomed the decision of the Prime Minister of Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, to form a military operations room to fight ISIS in the city that lies 75 kilometers west of the Libyan capital.

Thawadi described the decision as important and helpful in fighting ISIS and establishing security.

During February, U.S. warplanes carried out several raids on militants linked to ISIS near Sabratah, killing around 40 people, including one of the suspects of the two major terrorist attacks carried out in Tunisia last year.

Tunisian authorities believe that Tunisian ISIS extremists are receiving military training in camps near Sabratah that is close to the Tunisian border.

In the order issued by Sarraj, the prime minister formed an operations room that falls directly under his command as the Supreme Commander of Libyan National Army. The decision prohibited any military or semi-military formation to initiate combat in the area without direct orders from the newly formed operations room.

Since taking office two months ago, Sarraj has formed two operations rooms, exploiting the military and security chaos amid political struggle between two parliaments and three governments.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Libyan Parliament Akila Saleh announced that dialogue is the right way and strategic choice to solve all crises. During a speech delivered on the occasion of the month of Ramadan, Saleh said that the legality of any government should come from the members of the parliament.

Saleh added that the parliament cooperated with the interim government and Central Bank of Libya in order to guarantee fiscal liquidity and provide food supplies that meet the needs of Libyan citizens.

Libyan National Army Spokesperson Colonel Ahmad al-Mesmari said that liberating Benghazi has reached its final stages. Mesmari stressed that military operations continue until the liberation of both the western and eastern axes of the city.

Foreign Minister in Sarraj’s government Mohammed Sayala said that the war on ISIS will be fought by Libyans.

Aki, Italian news agency, quoted Sayala as saying: “If we decided to ask for any kind of foreign assistance, it will be done formally through the Libyan Foreign Ministry.”