On December 6, heavy clashes broke out in southwestern Libya, when the Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a surprise attack on a military camp controlled by forces loyal to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
LNA troops attacked the Tendy camp in the morning. The camp is located near the town of Awbari, at least 964 km south of the capital Tripoli. Col. Muhammad al-Hasnawi is reportedly leading the attack.
A spokesman for the GNA’s Sirte-al-Jufra operations room, al-Hadi Dara, told Turkish state-run Anadulo Agency that the LNA’s attack was quickly repelled by the camp’s forces. A pro-GNA warlord named Ali Kanah is commanding the camp.
“Haftar’s [Commander-in-Chief of the LNA] militia attempted to storm Tendy camp [formerly known as the commando camp], but the army [GNA] forces foiled the attempt,” the spokesman said.
Dara’s claims were denied by Khaled al-Mahjoub, Director of the LNA’s Moral Guidance Department, who told Sky News Arabiya that the Tendy camp was captured.
According to al-Mahdjoub, the LNA is working to secure the southwestern region to prevent terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, from entering the country. The region is indeed infested with al-Qaeda and ISIS remnants.
The LNA and the GNA agreed on a ceasefire in June. Until now, the two sides have been engaged in more or less constructive peace talks. Today’s attack may hinder these efforts.
The LNA’s surprise attack on Tendy camp may have been provoked by the Turkish military buildup in Libya. In the last few weeks, Turkey stepped up its arms shipments to GNA forces and made preparations to deploy additional Syrian militants in the country.
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