(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
In the past week, multiple accounts of civilian targeted shootings have been reported and attributed to General Khalifa Haftar’s Operation Dignity in Derna. Haftar has besieged the coastal city since May 11, less than a month after Derna’s Shura Council drove out ISIS militants from the city.
The most recent attack on civilians happened on Wednesday when warplanes under the command of Haftar attacked children at an amusement park near Derna’s seashore. One child was killed and three others were wounded as a result of the attack.
On Monday, a father and son who were coming back to Derna after a trip to Um Al-Ruzim, a town located 50 kilometres east of Derna, were attacked and killed by warplanes operating under Haftar’s Operation Dignity.
In addition, last week, in the neighbourhood of Bab Shiha a woman and two children were killed by Haftar’s airstrikes.
Ahmad Al-Masmari, a spokesman for the Haftar led Libyan National Army, declared that residents in Derna need to “take responsibility for their actions,” after the residents supported the Shura Council’s fight against ISIS.
“We have warned residents in the city of Derna through statements from the operations room and the military headquarters not to cover up for al Qaeda or allow them to use residential districts to store weapons and ammunition,” Reuters reported al-Masmari as saying.
Haftar and his men are using their claim that the Derna Shura Council has links to Al-Qaeda, which the Council absolutely denied, to justify their attacks on innocent civilians. Haftar is willing to lay the same claim on anyone who opposes him.