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LNA Advances on Tripoli, Opens New Front in Sirte

LNA Advances on Tripoli, Opens New Front in Sirte

Sunday, 12 May, 2019 - 05:15
Shell casings are seen on the ground during a fight between members of the LNA and GNA in al-Yarmouk south of Tripoli, Libya May 7, 2019. (Reuters)

Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, opened a new battlefront on the advance on Tripoli by sending forces to the coastal city of Sirte.

Military sources told local media that the LNA dispatched major forces to Sirte, the hometown of late leader Moammar al-Gaddafi. They said that the move was part of the LNA’s operations to liberate Tripoli from terrorist gangs.

Haftar did not officially announce the move on Sirte, but the LNA circulated photos that showed its forces heading towards Sirte on Saturday morning.

Forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Sirte had denied over the past two days that the LNA was marching on the city. They have since deployed patrols in the city suburbs.

In Tripoli, meanwhile, the LNA continued to make major strides in capturing the capital, by advancing in its southern districts, most notably the al-Aziziya area.

The LNA also carried out air strikes on several militia positions in the Wadi al-Rabih and Ain Zara areas.

United Nations envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame has, meanwhile, been touring European countries in an attempt to reach an immediate ceasefire to the fighting.

He is set to hold talks with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Monday.

Salame has been calling for a return to political dialogue in Libya. The envoy has remained in the Libya even though the UN mission has reduced the number of its staff in the country.

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