Sebha training base attacked, responsibility claimed by Daesh – Al Marsad

‎‏Libya, 4 May 2019 – Responsibility for a bloody attack on an army training centre in Sebha on Saturday morning has been claimed by Daesh.  It resulted in the death of nine men, both LNA soldiers and policemen.

The attack on the camp, used by the Libyan National Army’s Battalion 160 headed by Gen. Almabrook Ghazwi, occurred at around 2am local time. It came less than a week after Daesh’s so-called “caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appeared in a video calling on his followers in Libya to continue their attacks and to sap “the enemy” in southern Libya – the reference being to the LNA.

‏Daesh has published numerous pictures of the operationsomeshowing the murdered soldiers, a number of whom had been shot in the head; others had had their throats cut. Some had been beheaded after being killed. There were photos also of weapons and ammunition seized from the training centre, and of the Libyan flag which they consider a banner of apostasy being trampled.

‎‏Despite the statement by Daesh acknowledging responsibility, some groups currently backing the GNA tried initially to claim that a unit commanded by Hassan Musa al-Tabbawi of the GNA’s Southern Protection Force (SPF) had carried out the attack. Similar claims were also made by anti-Haftar individuals on social media.

Led by Gen. Ali Kana, who was appointed by Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Sarraj as his commander of the Sehha military region on 6 February, the SPF was responsible for a failed attack on Tamenhint airbase on 18 April.

The GNA’s former defence undersecretary Khaled al-Sharif, now based in Istanbul, claimed the SPF had carried out the Sebha attack as part of the battle against what he said were “Haftar’s rebel forces”. So too did the PC’s new fighting allies, the Somoud Brigade led by militant Misratan hardliner Salah Badi and Misrata’s 166 Brigade, headed by Mohamed Hassan who was recently wounded in fighting in the south of Tripoli, although these were later removed.

Jamal Zubia, who denied the existence in Libya of Daesh when he was the former Libya Dawn regime’s foreign media head, similarly said that the SPF had carried out the assault, claiming on his Facebook page that it had launched attacks on the LNA in five locations.

The PC as well as the Tripoli-based State Council has since moved to distance themselves from such claims and have condemned the attack. It was also condemned by, among others, Sebha Council, the HoR and UNSMIL.

Al Marsad Special Report