Jun 30, 2020 11:36 UTC
  • Battle looms over Libya’s strategic city of Sirte

Libyan government forces are preparing to retake the strategic city of Sirte, and the rebels occupying the city are also reinforcing their ranks by deploying thousands of foreign mercenaries ahead of the battle.

Yasin Aktay, a senior official from Turkey, the Libyan government’s main ally, said on Monday that government forces were making preparations to recapture Sirte.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV network also quoted local sources from Libya’s southeastern city of Kufra as saying that numerous convoys carrying foreign militants, including Sudanese and Chadian nationals, were on their way to Sirte.

The rebels released a video showing military reinforcements being deployed from Benghazi, their eastern stronghold, toward the Central Region in Sirte.

Aktay said the leadership in Egypt, which supports the rebels, lacked “the power or guts” to attempt to stop the recapture of the city.

Sirte fell into the rebel’s hands in January. The Libyan government has vowed to retake control.

Turkey has extended significant help to the government helping it push the rebels as far back as Sirte, which lies in an oil-rich region on the Mediterranean coastline.