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Libya: Haftar visits Egypt hours before rival government recaptures Tripoli airport

Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, 17 January 2020 [Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr]
Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, 17 January 2020 [Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr]

Libya’s eastern-based military leader Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar visited Cairo yesterday and met with Egypt’s deputy defence minister hours before the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) announced that it had taken over Tripoli International Airport from his forces.

Since 2014 Libya’s leadership has been divided between the two rival factions led by Haftar in the east and the GNA in Tripoli.

Haftar, a self-styled military general, is backed by Egypt, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, while the internationally-recognised GNA is backed by Qatar and Turkey. The latter passed a law in January to deploy troops to support the GNA.

Haftar launched an offensive to capture Tripoli, a GNA stronghold, in 2019 and battles have been raging since between Libya’s two rival factions.

Earlier today the GNA announced that it has now secured the whole city from Haftar’s forces.

Libya: Clashes continue in Tripoli despite UN ceasefire call

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