Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced that the withdrawal of the army from Tripoli was an option among other difficult choices, due to the intervention of AFRICOM forces.
Haftar added that the withdrawal was to protect the back lines, ports and oil fields, noting that the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, backed by regional powers, would have landed in the ports and oil fields.
Libyan writer and journalist Mahmoud Al-Misrati posted on his official Facebook page that during his meeting with Haftar, the latter confirmed that the decision to withdraw the armed forces from the Tripoli axes was a sovereign decision taken by the General Command and was an option among other difficult alternatives. Haftar indicated: "The enemy forces backed by regional powers were going to land in the areas of ports and oil fields. The withdrawal decision was taken to protect our back lines and areas of ports and oil fields."
Haftar stated that the AFRICOM forces targeted Libyan forces at Al-Watiya Air Base and a number of Tripoli hubs, adding: "The Americans asked the General Command of the Armed Forces to disengage with the Russian ally, and when we asked them for an alternative, they disavowed and loosened the reins on Turkey, AFRICOM and NATO techniques in targeting our forces."
"I did not regret not using excessive force to storm the capital in order to preserve the lives and properties of our people. The militias and terrorists are self-deceived of a false victory over the armed forces, but they will be shocked with the truth someday soon," Haftar added.
"We will go for a political solution until the end that the road map draws, which is the elections, as our friends and allies wished." Haftar asserted: "If we do not reach a solution, then your armed forces are ready once again to liberate the capital from militias and criminals. Libya's unity and the integrity of its territory and the withdrawal of the occupier are red lines that we do not give up."