The Libyan National Army (LNA) is making significant advances in the capital city of Tripoli and causing heavy casualties among the military ranks of the Government of National Accord (GNA), LNA information officer Al-Mundhir Al-Khartoush stated on Wednesday.
“The 73rd Infantry Brigade made excellent progress yesterday evening and has set up new posts in known points in the Asfah area in accordance with the orders from the Western Region Operations Centre”, Al-Khartoush told a Sputnik correspondent.
Al-Khartoush added that the GNA forces, whom he referred to as armed militia, attempted to win back the territories it had lost with ambush attacks later at night, resulting in heavy casualties for them and the looting of their military equipment and machinery.
“Heavy fighting continues in the Salah al-Din area as armed militia attempt to recoup territory which it had lost to armed forces [LNA] over the past 48 hours, but military combat units were prepared and did not retreat a single step”, he said.
Earlier in December and eight months after announcing an operation to wrestle the city from “terrorists”, troops loyal to LNA Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar began what he called the last battle for the capital of Tripoli. He is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Libya has been torn apart between the two rival administrations since 2011 when its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed. The eastern part of the country is now governed by a parliament, backed by the LNA and located in Tobruk. The UN-backed GNA, headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, operates in the country’s west and is headquartered in Tripoli.
The situation in Libya deteriorated in April when the LNA began an offensive on Tripoli, prompting the GNA to begin a counteroperation.