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LNA Announces Major Advances in Tripoli Battles

LNA Announces Major Advances in Tripoli Battles

Sunday, 22 September, 2019 - 11:00
Libyan National Army (LNA) forces, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, pose for a picture as they head out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, Libya. (Reuters)

The Libyan National Army announced Saturday that its forces have made new advances on ground in the capital, Tripoli, following what it called a “violent attack against armed militias” loyal to Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

LNA spokesman Major General Ahmed al-Mesmari said forces, fighting for six months to liberate Tripoli, have launched a “fierce attack on the terrorist militias in Salah al-Din area to free it and clear it of terrorist and criminal gangs.”

Mesmari pointed out that the attack was supported by heavy air cover by the air forces, inflicting mass losses on the militias.

He pledged to continue the attack until “wiping these terrorist militias and cleaning the capital from their presence,” asserting that the pace of operations continues in accordance with plans and stages laid out by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to liberate Tripoli and get rid of all terrorist militias.

A senior military official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the army forces pre-empted their attack on Saturday with a series of airstrikes targeting Sarraj militias’ positions in most of Tripoli, especially in the airports, Ain Zara and Khalat Furgan.

He mentioned the collapse in the armed militias’ defense system facing LNA forces, which he said has made steady field advance as part of its plan to take over the capital and eliminate terrorist groups and armed militias.

In this context, LNA’s Military Information Division announced that its “military units have made advances on the area surrounding al-Yarmouk camp, reinforced by air cover.”

The Division noted that the forces have fought fierce battles, in which a number of major officials in the militias were killed, in reference to the leaders of militias loyal to Sarraj’s GNA.

The media center of LNA’s “Dignity Operations” Room announced in a brief statement on Friday that means of anti-aircraft defenses in Tripoli’s outskirts had shot down a Turkish espionage plane.

It didn’t yet disclose further details, saying only that the plane was shot down when trying to carry out an exploratory monitoring mission.

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