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Libya Dawn forces make “strategic retreat” a few kilometres back from Sidra

Libya Dawn troops, under the name Operation Sunrise, say they have have made “a strategic retreat” of a few kilometres to protect the oil facilities from being bombed by opposition forces.

“The troops reached Sirte and then carried on to Sidra where they reached the gates of the port, but they have now retreated two to three kilometres because they were concerned that the oil export terminal could be bombed,” head of the Army Operations Room Mohamed Al-Ajtal said today. “They want to complete this operation peacefully, although if this fails, they are prepared to fight.”

He said that the forces taking part in Operation Shorook (Sunrise) were authorised to free the oil ports and stand against any forces that tried to stop their mission.

With reference to Ibrahim Jadhran – erstwhile federalist champion and a leader of the Petroleum Facilities Guard tasked with guarding Libya’s oil installations – he said: “Jadhran and his militias wanted to steal and smuggle oil and tried to sell it outside the authority of the National Oil Corporation (NOC). He might be with Hafter but both are criminals fighting against the legitimate authority.”

The “legitimate authority” to which he referred was the Tripoli-based administration of Omar Al-Hassi and the General National Congress (GNC).

The next stages of the offensive would depend on the circumstances on the ground, Ajtal said. “We are waiting to sort out a peaceful method but we are ready for anything,” he said, claiming that many Libya Dawn troops were now heading to Sidra to support Operation Sunrise.

Libya Herald

This article was originally published here.

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