Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has launched a new military operation against the forces loyal to Benghazi-based warlord Khalifa Haftar, the GNA Press Centre has announced. Haftar has been trying to seize control of the capital Tripoli since April last year, backed by the UAE and Egypt.
Operation Peace Storm was launched in response to Haftar’s repeated violations of the ceasefire and attacks on civilians in Tripoli. On Monday, heavy shelling by Haftar’s forces killed at least five civilians in the city.
GNA forces have seized full control of Al-Watiya Airbase in the south-west of Tripoli and captured some militia fighters, explained Osama Al-Juwaili, the commander of the Operation. The airbase is the most important strategic military base after Mitiga. Haftar militia took control of Al-Watiya in 2014.