Chadian forces crossing from Libya hit in French airstrikes – Al Marsad

Libya, 4 February 2019 – French jets yesterday (Sunday) targeted a column of some 40 Chadian opposition forces after they had crossed the border into Chad from Libya.

According to a statement by the French defence ministry, the airstrike by Mirage 2000 aircraft was carried out in cooperation with the Chadian military.  It had happened after the forces had penetrated “deep into Chadian territory” and had followed a request from the Chadian government.

The identity of the group was not stated but it is thought to have consisted of members of the the Chadian opposition group CCMSR (Conseil de Commandement Militaire pour le Salut de la République – The Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic). Formed in Libya in 2016 by exiled Chadian opponents of President Idriss Deby, it has used its Libyan base to mount cross-border attacks on Chadian forces.  It is said to include rebels from neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur province in its ranks.

It is reported that French intelligence was tracking the Chadians before they left Libya. It is thought they were fleeing the current offensive by the Libyan National Army (LNA)that has now moved into the deep south of Libya. The CCMSR, which is led by Teman Ardimi who is now based in Qatar, has been accused of involvement in last Friday’s attack on LNA soldiers in Ghudwa, south of Sebha.

The CCMSR has long been viewed as an enemy by the LNA and has been previously targeted by LNA aircraft.

Last year, it was estimated that there were 11,000 Chadian rebels based in south Libya. Most belong to the CCMSR.