Benghazi Extremists Lead GNA forces in Sibrata

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Forces aligned to the Government of National Accord (GNA) have taken over the cities of Sabratha and Surman after six hours of fierce clashes with Libyan National Army (LNA).

Faraj Shakku, a prominent commander of the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC), was seen amongst the GNA forces.

Shaku is one of the most wanted individuals by the Interim Government, Shakku fought with the BRSC for much of the ‘Battle of Benghazi’ until fleeing in 2017, after the LNA’s takeover of the city. It is believed he has strong links to the Islamic State.

Fleeing to the southern city of Al-Jufra, he joined the Benghazi Defence Brigades, which was formed in 2016, before the LNA’s victory in the city. Shakku then made his way to Tripoli, and allied himself with the Al-Samoud Brigade, commanded by Salah Badi as well as with extremist Ziyad Balaam, who had also fled Benghazi. It was reported in October 2019, that Shakku was injured in clashes against the LNA in the Al-Ramla area fighting with GNA forces.

Libya has been marred in conflict since the overthrow of Muammer Gaddafi, with two rival governments in either side of the country. The Interim Government in the east, supported by Egypt, France, the UAE and the Tripoli based GNA, backed by Turkey and Qatar.