An armed force affiliated with retired Major General Khalifa Haftar took control of the Essene border crossing between Libya and Algeria, and declared it a military zone in which movement is prohibited.
Sources told Al Jazeera in Libya that the leadership of the 128th Enhanced Brigade of Haftar’s forces published pictures of the stationing of its forces at the port, and said that they were reinforcements that reached the Algerian border area with Libya.
The pictures show the stationing of armored and four-wheel drive vehicles and dozens of cars armed with anti-aircraft guns at the crossing and in the surrounding area.
Haftar’s forces stated that their concentration came within what they described as the army’s operations in the strategic extension of the southwest of Libya.
Yesterday, Friday, Haftar’s forces announced the launch of a military operation in southern Libya, to pursue what they described as “Takfiri terrorists.” A statement issued by it stated that units of the infantry battalions headed to the area to support the “Southwest Liberation Operations Room in the southern strategic direction.”
The operation aims – according to the statement – “to track down the takfiri terrorists and expel the African mercenary gangs, which threaten security and stability,” and these directives come after targeting a site for Haftar’s forces with a car bomb.
On June 6, two Libyan officers were killed and a third wounded, as a result of a suicide car bombing targeting a checkpoint in the city of Sabha (southern of the country), and the Islamic State claimed the operation.