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National Accord Government regains control of four sites in Tripoli; Haftar promises 'surprise'

A Libyan fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) mans a turret mounted on the back of a pickup truck on 10 April 2019 [Mahmud TURKIA/AFP/Getty]
A Libyan fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) on 10 April 2019 [Mahmud TURKIA/AFP/Getty]

Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord has announced that it has regained control of four sites in Tripoli on Tuesday, while the eastern forces, led by retired General Khalifa Haftar, promised a “surprise” raid the capital.

The spokesman of the Army of the Government of National Accord, Mohammed Qanouno said that their forces regained control of Wadie Alrabie, Bridge 27, Bridge of Souq Al-Ahad and Tripoli International Airport, destroyed Haftar forces armoured vehicles, and arrested a number of their fighters.

In a press conference, Qanouno stressed the preparedness of the forces of the Government of National Accord to achieve victory and respond to the attacking forces of Haftar, adding that they would not abuse the children fighters in Haftar forces and would treat them according to the laws and regulations internationally implemented.

He also accused Haftar forces of using heavy weapons in populated areas and near vital facilities.

READ: Libya’s Tripoli hospitals report 47 dead in recent fighting

In the meantime, the spokesman for the forces of Haftar, Ahmed Al-Mesmari, said during a press conference in the city of Benghazi (east) that “things on the ground are in favour of their army, meaning Haftar forces.”

He added that their forces arrived at the memorial, during their incursion into the Ain Zara axis, and seized 14 armed vehicles and tanks … we are only two kilometers away (…) from the centre of Tripoli. Al-Mesmari stressed that the situation in Salaheddine Axis is very excellent. The National Accord forces retreated to the old Tikbali camp, after we expelled them from the Yarmouk camp, and gained a very large number of sophisticated weapons.

He went on saying that Tripoli’s International Airport “is still a fire zone,” without further explaining which forces are controlling it.

He said that all that has been happening since last Thursday is just sub-plans, and we will surprise everyone to implement the central plan to storm Tripoli.

Since last Thursday, Haftar forces have launched a military operation to take control of Tripoli (west), the headquarters of the National Accord Government, which, in turn, launched a military operation to counter that attack.

READ: As Libya’s crisis escalates, men are on trial in Sudan for supplying recruits to Haftar

Quoting health facilities in Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that 47 people were killed and 181 injured in the last three days.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday that nearly half a million children are at immediate risk because of the escalation of fighting in Tripoli.

Every day, the Haftar military operation is facing international reactions of rejection, led by Turkey, the United States and other Western countries, amid talks about regional support for its moves.

The Haftar six-day escalation coincided with the preparations of the United Nations for a dialogue conference in the city of Ghadames (Southwest) between 14 and 16 April, as part of an international roadmap to address the conflict in the oil-rich Arab country.

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