The battle for Sidra has ground to a halt as a result of Misratan forces being pulled out of the drive on the oil terminal and being redeployed against Islamic State terrorists in Sirte.
Sources from Misrata said that one of the town’s main forces, the 166th brigade, has advanced on Sirte and is securing all exits and entrances of the town.
The redeployment is being used by the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) forces to regroup.
“The battlefield of the oil terminals is a bit calm and our forces are controlling everything,” LNA Operation Room for Oil Terminals Media Office Manager Ali Ewas told the Libya Herald.
Despite the calm, the LNA appears intent nonetheless to force Libya Dawn’s Operation Sunrise forces to retreat. It claims it plans to push them westward past Sirte.
“Our forces are prepared for the final battle with the Misratans in a couple of days,” Ewas predicted.
The PFG command had, he said, called all its men to stand by for the final battle against Sunrise forces. Asked about the possibility of clashes between Sunrise and IS, he said: “We consider all of them terrorists – some are extremists and the others are criminal.
Ten days ago IS militants captured Nawafaliya – only 30 kilometres west of Ben Jawad which Misratan forces are using as their base in the offensive to take Sidra. With IS holding the small desert town just off the east-west coastal road, Misratan supply lines to Ben Jawad have been put under threat.