Forces of the Libyan National Unity Government, recognized by the international community, announced on Thursday that they have regained full control of Tripoli, following several military successes against Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan national army.
After a series of successes, the forces of the Libyan Union Government (GNA), on Thursday, June 4, now announced control of the entire capital of Tripoli and its suburbs. For more than a year, heavy fighting has grated GNA against the troops of Marshal KhalifaHaftar, the strong man in eastern Libya.
“Our heroic forces have full control over the great borders of Tripoli,” GNA forces spokesman MohamadGnounou said in a brief statement on Facebook.
This announcement comes after several successes for GNA troops, a unit based in the capital and recognized by the UN, including the resumption of the international airport on Wednesday, in the hands of pro-Haftard since April 2019.
Strong presence of pro-GNA fighters
“Our forces continue to advance and chase the terrorist militia from the walls of Tripoli,” said Colonel SalahNamrouch, Deputy Secretary of Defense for GNA.
“Some of their commanders fled to BaniWalid Airport, southeast of Tripoli,” he added on Facebook. Images circulate on social networks and on local TV channels showing a strong presence of pro-GNA fighters in areas previously occupied by pro-Haftar.
In April 2019, Marshal Haftara launched an offensive aimed at quickly seizing Tripoli. But the fighting quickly caught on south of the capital, and Camp Haftara has suffered several setbacks in recent weeks.
BaniWalid, a town 170 km southeast of Tripoli, saw the arrival about two weeks ago of many pro-Haftar fighters fleeing the main front, coastal cities taken over by pro-GNA and the air base in ‘Al-Watiya, 140 km southwest of Tripoli.
Picked up from Tripoli Airport
GNA forces regained control of Tripoli International Airport, which has been out of operation since 2014, following heavy fighting on Wednesday.
The announcement of the GNA comes when the UN announced the resumption on Wednesday of talks with the war-ravaged Libyan warriors, suspended for more than three months.
Libya has been in the grip of chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011, and the conflict has seen a growing commitment of foreign powers over the past year.
GNA is thus militarily supported by Turkey, while Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia support Camp Haftar.
Since April 2019, hundreds of people, including many civilians, have been killed in the fighting and about 200,000 people have fled.