Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) rejected the timeframe set out by retired Major General Khalifa Haftar for their withdrawal from the country’s western cities of Tripoli and Sirte, the spokesperson of the GNA’s Volcano of Anger counteroffensive operation announced yesterday.
Mustafa Al-Mujai told the Anadolu Agency that the timeframe was an indication of their “failure to storm Tripoli”.
Haftar’s spokesperson Ahmed Al-Mismari yesterday extended by three days the deadline for the Misrata forces to pull out of Tripoli. On Friday, he threatened to storm the city if they did not withdraw within 72 hours. The first deadline came to an end yesterday.
On 4 April, Haftar, who commands forces based in eastern Libya, launched an offensive to capture the capital Tripoli from GNA forces. According to UN official data, over a thousand people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 injured.
Since the ouster and death of ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya, one in eastern supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.