In the late hours of April 5, the Libyan National Army (LNA) reached the Tripoli International Airport after capturing the towns of Aziziya, al-Swani, Qasr bin Ghashir and Espiaa. LNA forces are now stationed in the area located about 20km south of the Libyan capital.
After the announcement of the LNA’s new gains, a spokesman for the army, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mesmari, revealed that the ongoing operation to capture Tripoli from the Libyan Government of National Accord (LGNA) will be named “Operation Flood of Dignity.”
“We will not stop until we finish the operation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli,” Mag. Gen. al-Mesmari vowed during a press conference.
Earlier, the LNA imposed control of the key town of Suq al-Khamis, 40km south of Tripoli, following heavy clashes with pro-LGNA forces. The LNA’s victory in Suq al-Khamis led to the collapse of the LGNA’s positions south of the international airport.
The LNA is currently combating a coalition of pro-LGNA forces, including the al-Nuasi Brigade, the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, the Special Deterrence Force, the al-Mahjub Brigade, the 33rd Infantry Brigade, the Abu Obeida al-Zawia Forces, the al-Halbus Brigade and the Usama al-Juwayli Forces.
According to pro-LNA sources, these groups are infested with radical elements, including infamous terrorists that had abandoned the ranks of al-Qaeda and ISIS. Last year, these groups fought each other in a fierce battle to control Tripoli’s financial resources. Dozens of civilians were killed or injured.
Despite the LGNA’s support for these groups, the LNA says that its operation to capture Tripoli is not a political one. These claims suggest that the army is still ready for negotiations with the LGNA.