The Libyan National Army (LNA) denied claims that it had lost some positions in southern Tripoli, vowing that its operation against the capital was ongoing.
LNA officer Fawzi al-Mansoury told Asharq Al-Awsat that the army thwarted on Saturday night a fierce attack by forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj in the Ain Zara region.
The seven-hour clashes left at least 30 members of the pro-Sarraj militias dead. Only six LNA members were killed and 17 wounded, he added.
He said that this was the second fiercest battle yet in the operation on Tripoli.
The offensive was launched by the LNA on April 4 and aims to cleanse the capital of terrorist and criminal gangs.
The fiercest battle took place some two weeks ago and left 52 militants dead, revealed Mansoury.
“It is not true that we have lost any of the positions we have captured,” he went on to say. “The LNA is not on the verge of defeat on any of the fronts.”
Moreover, he attributed the relative calm witnessed on Sunday to the “exhaustion of the enemy, whose forces were depleted” after hours of heavy fighting.
“They are not a regular army, whose forces can regroup easily,” he explained.
Another officer, Idris Madi denied that a ceasefire was in place in southern Tripoli.
The operations against the Tripoli militias are ongoing, he stressed.
“The general command has the power to declare a ceasefire, not Idris Madi,” he said.
The LNA is fighting the pro-GNA forces in seven fronts in southern and southwestern Tripoli, including Ain Zara and the Salaheddine regions.
On the opposite end, the GNA force claimed that they had made advances on the LNA in the Ain Zara and Salaheddine fronts.
They also claimed to have shot down in southern Tripoli a drone manufactured by the United Arab Emirates and that was operated by the LNA.
The LNA denied the allegations, accusing the GNA of fabricating images of the drone.