The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) announced on Saturday, via Facebook, that it was preparing an operation to withdraw the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar from the vicinity of Tripoli. He also said he would seek to strengthen security throughout Libya.
The UN-backed GNA statement said it had resupplied its forces with “quality armor, ammunition and weapons” to prepare for an attack on Haftar’s forces.
The GNA also announced that its fighter jets launched five combat sorties on Saturday morning. The latter targeted heavy goods vehicles in the Qasr Bin Ghashir area (south of Tripoli). The destroyed units had supported the advance of Haftar’s forces towards Tripoli.
Read: Forces loyal to the UN-backed Libyan government receive military equipment
The GNA statement claimed that it destroyed two tanks and heavy artillery that had been used to bomb civilian areas of the capital. Haftar’s forces did not comment on the GNA’s statement.
According to Anadolu Agency, the capital in a precarious state of calm after hours of armed clashes on Saturday morning in the district of Al-Khlatat Street and the airport highway, south of Tripoli.
Since April 4, Haftar’s forces have been trying to seize Tripoli. The move has sparked international rejection and condemnation as it struck a blow to UN efforts to resolve the conflict in the oil-rich country.
Haftar’s forces managed to enter four main towns bordering the capital (Sabratha, Surman, Garyan and Tarhunah) and entered the southern outskirts of Tripoli.
However, since then Haftar’s forces have suffered several setbacks and have failed to break the military cordon around the city center containing the sovereign headquarters.