By Abdel Basset Hamel
Warplanes loyal to Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar on Thursday struck sites associated with the self-styled Defense Benghazi Brigades south of Libya’s central Al-Jufra region.
"This morning, two air raids targeted the Al-Jufra military airbase, which is used as a headquarters by the Defense Benghazi Brigades," Mohamed Abu Ras al-Sharif, an Al-Jufra notable, told Anadolu Agency by phone.
Established earlier this year, the Defense Benghazi Brigades is an ally of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries.
The Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries is an assortment of armed groups that supported Libya’s 2011 popular uprising, which led to the ouster and death of longstanding strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
The warplanes that carried out Thursday’s strikes took off from Ras Lanuf oil airport in northern Libya, a military source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
According to Mohamed Ahmouda, a pro-Haftar military official, Thursday’s airstrikes resulted in the death of a Brigades commander and the injury of 14 others.
Libya’s second most important airbase, the Al-Jufra airbase is controlled by Libya’s UN-backed unity government.
The leader of the self-proclaimed "Libyan National Army" (LNA), Haftar is the sworn enemy of the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries and its allies.
Libya has been wracked by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody uprising ended with Gaddafi’s ouster and death after more than four decades in power.