Egypt Creates Operational Headquarters with Haftar for its Airstrikes in Libya

The Libyan National Army spokesman Ahmed Mismari said that the Libyan National Army (LNA)and the Egyptian Defense Ministry have created an operational headquarters to coordinate airstrikes against Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Since Friday, the Egyptian Air Force has been carrying out airstrikes in eastern Libya in coordination with Haftar’s forces, following the attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt, which claimed the lives of at least 29 people.

The Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist organization has reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Moreover, the Egyptian Armed Forces claim that these attacks mainly target those involved in the recent attack in Egypt’s Minya province.

In the same context, Libya Express reported that the Egyptian military forces have been deployed on the borders with Libya and Sudan in Jabal Al-Awinat district in order to deter any terrorists’ infiltration.

The Egyptian army will be positioned there and will be on alert 24/7 for any terrorist threats coming from the Libyan borders.

An Egyptian official said, “Any attempts that will target the Egyptian national security coming from Libya or Sudan or any other place will be dealt with by force.”

In addition, the Egyptian warplanes bombed Derna city on what it said locations for Derna Shura Council, and the are believed to have bombed also Houn as well.

Media outlets reported that Houn was the epicenter for the inexplicable air-attacks, as it received air raids on locations like Al-Mujahid Brigade and Tagreft Brigade, which are part of Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operation that rooted out IS from Sirte.

While Egypt claims the airstrikes on Libyan locations is a vengeance for those who were killed in the terrorist attack by IS militants, it is indeed raiding locations for forces that have fought IS militants in Libya and have had victory over them in Sirte and Derna.

According to analysts, it is beyond certain that the Egyptian airstrikes are meant to pave the way for Khalifa Haftar’s forces to gain more ground in Libya after they had failed to do it themselves in Derna or in Jufra.

It is worth mentioning that Egyptian Army Chief-of-Staff Mahmoud Hegazy met with General Khalifa Haftar, in the Libyan port city of Benghazi, on May 18.

The visit is the first of its kind for an Egyptian or Arab military official since the outbreak of armed clashes in Benghazi three years ago.

Haftar is a military figure, backed by Tobruk government based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognize the U.N.-backed government, enjoys the support of several Arab nations, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, as well as western countries as France.