Saturday, April 25, 2020

Libya's GNA Launches Air Operation to Haftar's Militias
Clashes continue between UN-recognized government, warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces

Enes Canli   |

The air forces of Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) launched an air attack on tankers transporting fuel to warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias.

Three tankers with fuel for Haftar militias were hit in the operation in the Tarhuna city of the Bani Walid province, a statement by GNA official Muhammad Kanunu said.

Haftar's militias attacked the capital Tripoli on the first day of Muslims' holy month of Ramadan, killing three civilians.

The UN on March 22 urged conflicting parties in Libya to the cease-fire. Both parties announced they accepted, but Haftar's militias attacked Tripoli.

The militias also continued their heavy attacks after the first COVID-19 case was reported in Libya.

Last week, the GNA forces launched a military operation to recapture Tarhuna, a town of strategic value for Haftar and his last major stronghold in the area surrounding Tripoli.

Tarhuna is a major focal point for Haftar’s militias in their onslaught against Tripoli as well as for their supply lines from Al-Jufra airbase.

The internationally recognized GNA has been under attack by Haftar's forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

The GNA announced on April 13 its forces removed Haftar militias from at least eight provinces, clearing a 3,000-square-kilometer (1,158-square-mile) area from the warlord's forces.

Since the ouster of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya -- supported by Egypt and the UAE -- and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

* Writing by Firdevs Bulut in Ankara

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