(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Mohamed al-Gasri, the spokesman for Operation Strong Foundation (Albinyan Almarsous) said on saturday that Libyan forces killed at least 700 ISIS fighters since the unity government’s operations room against the extremist group was established in April.
In addition, Gasri affirmed that there were no foreign troops battling against ISIS in Libya, and that only Libyan troops were leading the battle against the extremist group.
The spokesman said that the leadership of the joint operations chamber demanded some necessary logistic items and equipment from the unity government and meanwhile would call on the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo on Libya.”
Gasri said that the arms embargo was costing Libyan forces many lives in their battle against ISIS, and stated that many civilians have also lost their lives due to the lack of equipment needed to detect the large number of landmines planted by ISIS militants.
Gasri said that while Operation Strong Foundation troops made significant gains against ISIS militants in and around Sirte, killing many of the extremist group’s senior leaders, he stressed that the terrorist group still possessed considerable power in their stronghold Sirte.
“We are making remarkable advances against the radical group of ISIS,” said Gasri two weeks ago after Libyan forces killed 100 ISIS militants in a battle with the extremist group around the Al-Baghla checkpoint.
The announcement by Gasri comes after Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj told Reuters in an interview on Friday that Libya would not accept foreign intervention in Libya, and that Libyans would be leading the campaign to defeat ISIS.
“We are sure that the battle and the eradication of Islamic State will be carried out by Libyans,” he said.
There has been much speculation in the media that the United States, among other western nations, including Britain, France and Italy currently had soldiers on the ground in Libya.