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GNA forces repel attack by Haftar militias south of Tripoli

Libyan Army forces seen as part of "Operation Peace Storm" - Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) against the forces Khalifa Haftar in Tripoli, Libya on March 27, 2020 [Amru Salahuddien / Anadolu Agency]
Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in Tripoli, Libya on 27 March 2020 [Amru Salahuddien/Anadolu Agency]

Forces loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) repulsed an attack launched by the militias controlled by renegade General Khalifa Haftar south of Tripoli on Sunday, Anadolu has reported.

A spokesman for the GNA’s media centre, Mustafa Al-Majei, told the agency that Al-Wefaq forces repelled an attempt to penetrate their position in Ain Zara. He pointed out that clashes are ongoing, but the militia is not making progress. Apart from areas where heavy artillery is being used, the others are relatively quiet. “The air force carried out three strikes against concentrations of Haftar militia fighters in the vicinity of Sirte. A number of individuals and other locations were also targeted.”

On Saturday, the GNA forces announced that their air strikes killed the operations commander of Sirte, Salem Driaq, his aide, Gaddafi Al-Sadai, and eight of their soldiers. Artillery also targeted buildings in Qasr Bin Ghashir, south of Tripoli, where Russian and African mercenaries were sheltering.

Read: Fighting escalates in Libya despite coronavirus threat

On Thursday, the head of the GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj, announced that Operation Peace Storm, which was launched on Wednesday, was “a response to the continuous shelling of Tripoli neighbourhoods, and as a punishment of mercenary militias for their frequent breaking of the ceasefire.”

Despite the agreement on 21 March to a humanitarian ceasefire to focus on efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Haftar’s militias continue to breach their obligations by bombing various locations in the capital. His forces are accused of violating the ceasefire on a daily basis as part of a military operation to take the capital of Libya that has been ongoing since 4 April last year.

Read: Pope backs UN chief’s call for global ceasefire to focus on coronavirus

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