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Military Preparations for New Tripoli Battles

Military Preparations for New Tripoli Battles

Friday, 6 September, 2019 - 09:45
Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, August 28, 2018. Picture taken August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Hani Amara

The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar has said that “the time to storm the capital Tripoli has been approaching,” as forces loyal to the Government of National Accord chief, Fayez al-Sarraj, made reinforcements at their military posts.

Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that both sides have been making reinforcements amid expectations on the eruption of a new round of fighting between the LNA and militias backing the GNA.

LNA official Ali al-Qahtani said “zero hour for storming the capital has been set.”

The army is ready for the direct orders to carry out the offensive, he added.

According to Qahtani, all battlefields on Tripoli’s outskirts have been reinforced under clear instructions made by Haftar.

He urged Tripoli residents to remain indoors and warned any side not to grant logistical or financial support to “terrorists.”

“Our forces are united against all terrorist militias in addition to ISIS,” said Qahtani.

A military official loyal to Sarraj said that the GNA has also been making preparations in the area of al-Arban south of al-Garyan city.

The area, which now falls under the control of Sarraj’s forces, had previously been used by the LNA to send reinforcements to the National Army in its campaign to take over Tripoli from militias backing the GNA.

The National Army will make another attempt to take over Tripoli, but the GNA has taken all measures to thwart such an attack, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency quoted the official as saying.

Sarraj met on Thursday with the UN special envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame, and Deputy Special Representative in Libya Yacoub El Hillo who has been recently appointed.

A statement issued by Sarraj’s office said Salame reiterated during the meeting that Libya’s crisis cannot be solved through military means.

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