On 28 June, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced the ‘liberation’ of the city of Darnah. Earlier that day the LNA had stated that they had complete control of the city, after having supposedly taken control of 75 percent of Darnah three weeks prior, and that Brigadier General Salem al-Rifadi was appointed the head of the Joint Security Operations Room for the city.
Prior to Haftar’s announcement on 27 June, the Darnah Protection Force (DPF) claimed to have been heavily barraged for more than 24 hours by UAE unmanned drone strikes on their positions in the Shiha neighborhood. Conflicting reports suggest that former Darnah Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC) Chairman Atiya al-Sharrir was killed during these strikes.
Darnah has been under the control of the DMSC since 2014. In May 2018 the DMSC changed its name to the Darnah Protection Force (DPF), in what has been suggested as an effort to distance itself from the DMSC’s alleged links to al-Qaeda.
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