The Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, announced it was close to capturing the Ras Ajdir border crossing with Tunisia from the Government of National Accord (GNA).
“A few kilometers sperate the army from seizing the portal,” said an LNA statement late on Wednesday. Ras Ajdir is the last remaining border crossing outside the army’s control.
Forces loyal to the GNA in the nearby city of Zuwara claimed however, that they were in control of Ras Ajdir, denying that the LNA was advancing on the region. The military said it had captured the region of Bou Kammash, 15 kilometers off Zuwara.
Meanwhile, the LNA’s Tariq bin Ziad brigade announced that it had seized control of the “Riqdalin road” military camp that is used by forces loyal to Osama al-Juwaili, one of the senior GNA military commanders. The Tariq bin Ziad forces also seized the nearby city of Zliten, east of Tripoli, amid cheers from the locals.
The brigade said its forces swept the city and secured it as mercenaries loyal to the GNA fled the area. The capture, therefore clears the path towards Ras Ajdir.
The crossing lies 170 kilometers west of Tripoli and was shut just days ago by Tunisian authorities over fears of the spread of the coronavirus. Ras Ajdir is one of two main crossings between Libya and Tunisia. The other is the Wazin and Dehiba crossing.