The Libyan National Army (LNA) has carried out airstrikes on Daesh positions near the Takfiri terrorist group’s former stronghold in the north of the country.
The LNA forces, who operate under the command of former army general Khalifa Haftar and are based in eastern Libya, said Monday that they had launched attacks a day earlier in the area of Ain Tarqft, between Sirte and the town of Waddan, 230 kilometers to the south.
According to Libyan officials, Daesh terrorists have shown increased activity in the south and east of Sirte in recent weeks.
Sirte, located on Libya’s Mediterranean coast and on the line which divides rival militaries in the east and west of Libya, fell to Daesh in 2015 and it was liberated by the Libyan forces, dominated by brigades based in the port city of Misrata, last December.
Most of the terrorists were killed in the seven-month battle although an unknown number of them are believed to have returned to nearby areas from the desert they had escaped to after the Sirte operation.
The LNA says the Daesh operatives have set up temporary checkpoints and attacked local forces while taking over some village mosques near Sirte. Both the LNA and rival Misratan brigades say they are carrying out frequent patrols to monitor the movements of Daesh in the area.
Libya fell into chaos and lawlessness following the Western-backed ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The country has been ruled by two governments in the east and west with powerful militaries.
Haftar, a former general under Gaddafi, has refused to endorse the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in the capital Tripoli.
The GNA leadership has started a series of talks with Haftar in a bid to expand its power across Libya two years after it was formed under the United Nations support.