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Libya: Haftar orders troops to advance on Tripoli in ‘final battle’

Libya Chief of Staff, Marshall Khalifa Haftar in Paris, France on 29 May 2018 [Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images]
Libya Chief of Staff, Marshall Khalifa Haftar in Paris, France on 29 May 2018 [Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images]

Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar, has reportedly ordered his troops in the Libyan National Army (LNA) to advance onto the capital in a “decisive battle” to take the city, currently held by the UN-recognised government, the Government of National Accord (GNA).

“Zero hour has come for the broad and total assault expected by every free and honest Libyan,” Haftar declared in a televised address yesterday.

Under the pretext of combating “terrorists”, who he accuses of backing the GNA, Haftar led an offensive on Tripoli in April of this year, however, it led to a stalemate with the LNA failing to achieve its objectives, despite support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and fighters provided by Russia.

The GNA, which has the backing of Turkey, meanwhile described the situation as being “under control” with the interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, stating “we are ready to push back any more mad attempt by the Haftar putsch leader.”

Turkey’s President Erdogan has earlier in the week pledged to send troops, should the GNA request. However, the chief of staff of the LNA, Farag Al-Mahdawi, warned that his forces will sink any Turkish ships approaching the Libyan coast.

READ: Libya GNA warns from Haftar’s possible entry to Tripoli with Russian support

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