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Libya: Government of National Accord preparing to remove Haftar from Tripoli region

A fighter loyal to the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) keeps position near the Salah al-Din military compound, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on 7 May 2019 [Mahmud TURKIA/AFP/Getty]
A fighter loyal to the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) keeps position near the Salah al-Din military compound, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on 7 May 2019 [Mahmud TURKIA/AFP/Getty]

The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) announced, via Facebook on Saturday, that it is preparing an operation to remove the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar from around Tripoli. It also said it would seek to enforce security throughout Libya.

The UN-backed GNA’ statement said that it had resupplied its forces with “armour, ammunition and quality weapons,” to prepare for an attack on Haftar’s forces.

The GNA also announced that its warplanes had launched five combat sorties on Saturday morning. These targeted heavy vehicles in the area of ​​Qasr Bin Ghashir (south of Tripoli). The destroyed units had been supporting Haftar’s forces advance towards Tripoli.

Read: Forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed government receive military hardware

The GNA’s statement claimed that it had destroyed two tanks and some heavy artillery that had been used to bomb civilian neighbourhoods in the capital. Haftar’s forces have issued no comment about the GNA statement.

According to Anadolu Agency, the capital in a state of an uneasy calm after hours of armed confrontations on Saturday morning in the area of ​​ Al-Khlatat Street and the Airport Highway, in the south of Tripoli.

Since 4 April, Haftar’s forces been engaged in an attempt to take over Tripoli. This move has sparked international rejection and condemnation, as it constituted a blow to UN efforts to resolve the conflict in the oil-rich country.

Haftar’s forces managed to enter four main cities bordering the capital (Sabratha, Surman, Garyan, and Tarhunah) and penetrated the southern suburbs of Tripoli.

However, since then Haftar’s forces endured several setbacks and have failed to break through the military cordon around the city centre containing sovereign headquarters.

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