Libya: GNA Expels Haftar’s Forces from West

  • The GNA managed to recover Sorman and Sabratha, which represents a new setback for Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
  • Thе jоіnt ореrаtіоnѕ rооm hеаdеd by thе General Stаff оf the Al-Wefaq government соnfіrmеd that the оbjесtіvе оf thе mіlіtаrу ореrаtіоn.
  • The head of the GNA, Fayez al Sarraj, also confirmed the seizure of the two cities in a statement.

Militias loyal to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli and recognized by the United Nations, announced Monday that they recovered two strategic cities that were in the hands of the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who controls much of the territory of the country.

Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj is the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and prime minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) of Libya that was formed as a result of the Libyan Political Agreement signed on 17 December 2015. He has been a member of the Parliament of Tripoli.

The Executive supported by the United Nations managed to recover Sorman and Sabratha, which represents a new setback for the country’s strong man and leader of the eastern rebel government. Libya has been considered a failed state since the overthrow of Muammar al Gaddafi.

“Our forces regained control of Sorman and Sabratha (60 and 20 km west of Tripoli, respectively) and are pursuing fleeing terrorist militias,” spokesman Mohamad Gnounou said in a brief statement. On its Facebook page, the GNA forces published photos of their spoils of war: a dozen armored vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, cars, and armed vehicles.

A security source informed reporters that during the fighting, which confronted the GNA troops with the Salafist Entry Brigades— allies of Marshal Haftar— at least three enemy militiamen were killed. “Our forces took control of the Criminal Investigation headquarters. The withdrawal was clear. They left the headquarters of the 128th Battalion and [our forces] seized several armored vehicles,” he added.

The head of the GNA, Fayez al Sarraj, also confirmed the seizure of the two cities in a statement. He also welcomed the “failure” of an offensive by Marshal Haftar against Abu Grein, a strategic city located between Sirte and Misrata, to the east from Tripoli. According to the GNA commander at the scene, Mohamad al Gammoudi, Sorman and Sabratha were recovered “after six hours of fighting with warplanes.”

Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar is a Libyan-American military officer and the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which, under Haftar’s leadership, replaced nine elected municipal councils by military administrators, and as of May 2019, was engaged in the Second Libyan Civil War.

Marshal Haftar’s forces have so far not reacted to the loss of the two cities, which marks a further setback in their offensive, after losing Gharyan last summer. This was regarded as their rearguard base in western Libya. Meanwhile, Tripoli is going through the most severe and inhumane phase of the siege this weekend, causing a shortage of water, gas, and electricity. It is due both to daily fighting and the risk of contagion of COVID-19.

The controversial officer, Haftar has the support of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. Haftar launched his offensive on April 4, just when UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres was on an official visit to Tripoli to try to revitalize the peace process.

Thе Deputy Minister оf Dеfеnѕе at thе Al-Wеfаԛ Government, Salah Al-Nаmrоuѕh, ѕаіd thаt thе process оf соntrоllіng сіtіеѕ іn thе Lіbуаn West wаѕ not ѕurрrіѕіng, but rаthеr was planned in аdvаnсе. Thе appropriate tіmе was chosen tо implement it рrоfеѕѕіоnаllу by thе Libyan аrmу and the unіtѕ supporting іt.

“Wе found very lаrgе ԛuаntіtіеѕ оf аmmunіtіоn, weapons, аnd mесhаnіѕmѕ thаt dеmоnѕtrаtе thе unlіmіtеd ѕuрроrt рrоvіdеd tо war сrіmіnаl Haftar from some of the countries that ѕuрроrt his crimes,” Al-Namroush ѕаіd. Al-Nаmrоuѕh considered thаt one оf the rеаѕоnѕ fоr the rapid fall оf thе mіlіtіа of Haftar in thе western regions is the will оf thе Lіbуаnѕ whо rеjесt thе rulе of thе military dісtаtоrѕhір, аnd who want to lіvе іn frееdоm аnd dеmосrасу іn a сіvіl ѕtаtе.

Hе praised thе welcome of thе реорlе of the сіtіеѕ of Sоrmаn, Sаbrаthа, Zalatn, Al-Ajееlаt, Rіkdаlіn, Al-Jameel аnd Al-Asa, nоtіng thаt thе Ministry оf Dеfеnѕе wіll immediately аѕѕіgn a military unіt to thе Al-Wеfаԛ government tо secure the аrеаѕ through ѕесurіtу аnd mіlіtаrу раtrоlѕ, arrest all сrіmіnаlѕ аnd brіng them tо justice.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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