July 8, 2021

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Libya: GNA recaptures cities close to Tunisia border from Haftar | Information

Forces allied with Libya’s internationally-recognised Authorities of Nationwide Accord (GNA) say they’ve recaptured two cities close to the Tunisian border from eastern-based renegade army commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

“Our heroic forces have entered the towns of Bader and Tiji amid welcome from their residents,” the media workplace of the Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation, the government-led counteroffensive launched final April, stated in an announcement on Fb on Tuesday.

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On Monday, forces allied to the GNA retook the strategic al-Watiya airbase south of the capital, Tripoli. The bottom had been below Haftar’s management since 2014.

Analysts say shedding the bottom, one of many fundamental strongholds for Haftar’s forces in western Libya, is a big blow to Haftar’s year-long marketing campaign to grab the capital from the GNA.

After shedding management of the bottom, Ahmed al-Mesmari, the spokesperson for Haftar’s Libyan Nationwide Military (LNA) stated on Tuesday Libya’s eastern-based forces had withdrawn from some embattled areas of the capital Tripoli.

Nevertheless, al-Mesmari stated within the televised speech that the bottom had been deserted as a part of a long-planned strategic choice and that solely outdated, out of date tools was left there.

He stated the forces had carried out a “redistribution and repositioning in the battlefronts, disengaging from some crowded residential areas”.

“This move was not made in the spur of the [moment]; it was planned for months. We’ve been pulling out strategical equipment and heavy military gear from the base,” al-Mesmari stated.

“Solely yesterday orders got from personnel to withdraw below our air cowl. The withdrawal was profitable, and we have moved the personnel and all of the weaponry and ammunition.

“We have our own plans and we will recapture the airbase.”

Libyan army retakes key airbase from warlord's forces

GNA army spokesman Mohammed Kanunu inspects the al-Watiya airbase after its allied forces recaptured it [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

GNA forces retook the al-Watiya airbase after weeks of makes an attempt, their largest advance in a yr that deprives the LNA of its solely airfield close to Tripoli.

After taking the bottom, they paraded what they stated was a Russian-made Pantsir air defence system mounted on a truck, together with an Arabic guide.

GNA Minister of Inside Fathi Bashagha stated on Twitter that “Haftar’s chance of success is now effectively zero” following his lack of Watiya.

‘Dropping momentum’

Haftar’s forces have been preventing for greater than a yr to seize Tripoli, the seat of the GNA, with greater than 1,000 killed within the violence.

The GNA, recognised by the United Nations, has moved onto the entrance foot within the struggle since January with elevated army assist from Turkey. The LNA, below Haftar, is supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Russia and Egypt.

Violence between the 2 sides has raged in current weeks regardless of repeated worldwide requires a humanitarian truce in Libya to deal with the struggle towards the coronavirus.

Libya has been in turmoil because the NATO-backed overthrow of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The UN imposed an arms embargo on Libya after Gaddafi’s elimination, however it has been repeatedly violated.

Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed reporting from Tripoli stated the lack of the al-Watiya airbase for Haftar’s forces has modified the stability of energy in different entrance strains specifically in southern Tripoli.

“The spokesman of Haftar’s forces stated that they are repositioning, regrouping and this is interpreted as he’s paving the way for a kind of withdrawal,” Abdelwahed stated.

After recapturing Tiji and Bader, authorities forces have since moved on to the city of Asabi’a, one other Haftar stronghold, Abdelwahed stated. Tarhuna now stays the one main stronghold for Haftar’s forces in western Libya.

Libyan army retakes key airbase from warlord's forces

A big cache of weapons and ammunition was additionally seized by the GNA after the takeover of al-Watiya airbase from Haftar’s forces [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

“It’s clear that Haftar’s forces are losing momentum, especially [considering] the series of setbacks they suffered over the two months,” Abdelwahed stated.

“They lost six strategic cities and towns along the western coast in mid-April, the strategic al-Watiya airbase on Monday, Tiji and Bader this morning in the western mountain. And Asabi’a has almost fallen to the government forces. The question now is whether or not Haftar’s forces will withdraw to the city of Tarhuna.”

He added that authorities forces say they are going to proceed “defending Tripoli until they repel the attack by Haftar’s forces in southern Tripoli”.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and information companies

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