Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Drums of War Beat Again in Libya amid Military Mobilization

Drums of War Beat Again in Libya amid Military Mobilization

Tuesday, 24 November, 2020 - 06:00
Members of the Libyan GNA forces are seen as they head out to the front line from Misrata, Libya. (Reuters)

In a surprise development, the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, accused the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, of “amassing his forces.”

It said he was amassing forces against the capital Tripoli, where the GNA is based, and on the outskirts of the strategic central city of Sirte.

The GNA declared that it was ready to defeat any potential attack.

The LNA ignored the claims, but sources revealed that militias in western Sirte were amassing at Turkish orders to attack the military in Sirte and al-Jufra.

They denied the GNA allegations that the army was preparing to attack Sirte, dismissing them as baseless.

Such allegations are aimed at obstructing the work of the joint military committee (5+5) that had resumed its talks on Monday. The committee, which includes officers from the LNA and GNA, had in October agreed to a ceasefire in the country.

These claims coincided with significant developments in Tripoli where pro-GNA militias stormed several government buildings, including the National Oil Corporation (NOC) headquarters.

NOC said in a statement the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) had stopped an armed group from entering the building and that nobody was hurt in the incident. It said the assault followed threats made against a senior NOC official.

Witnesses in Tripoli said that militants had also tried to storm the central bank.

Tensions continued into the night. The GNA has yet to comment on the developments.

Editor Picks