After capturing the al-Watiya airbase, the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces are moving towards Tarhuna to attempt and capture the key forward stronghold of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
On May 21st, the GNA took complete control of the town of al-Asaba, which provided a corridor for the GNA between Tarhuna and al-Watiya.
كما نشرت بوابة الشقيقة بالكامل تحت سيطرة بركان الغضب مع التحام ثوار المشاشية .. pic.twitter.com/P7iYYEk02W
— AbdulGhani AlHamrouni 🇱🇾 (@AbdulGhaniLibya) May 21, 2020
Since then, the GNA has been carrying out airstrikes and drone strikes on Tarhuna.
Two Turkish UAVs were downed above Tarhuna by the LNA.
"للمرة الثانية خلال ساعتين إسقاط طائرة تركية مسيرة بالقرب من ترهونة من قبل دفاعات الجو التابعة للقوات المسلحة العربية الليبية"
— بنت المختار (@dodycat42) May 21, 2020
The battle of Tarhuna is expected to be significant, since the LNA is withdrawing large quantities of heavy weapons from Qasr bin Ghashir, which is just south of Tripoli towards Tarhuna in order to repel the incoming siege.
سحب كميات من السلاح الثقيل من قصر بن غشير باتجاه ترهونة، بجانب انسحاب عدة مجموعات من منطقة القصر والوجهة ترهونة.
— le Fils de la liberté (@mahmoud_zwi) May 21, 2020
The GNA also took control of the city of Muzdah, which is further south, but if it now continues eastward and captures more towns it would entirely encircle the LNA forces in Tarhuna.
GNA Forces have captured Wamis/Al-Mashashiyah,GNA Forces are advancing on the desert road that leads to Al-Rujban and Al-Zintan from the South,looks GNA will reach Al-Zintan Airport from the South,from the Desert
— ثائر سوري (@VivaRevolt) May 21, 2020
Despite the vows of the “largest aerial campaign” by the LNA, nothing of the sort has happened, there were a few airstrikes on GNA positions in Tripoli, as well as east of Misrata, but nothing significant.
In that manner, a MiG-29 was detected on the ground far south from Tarhuna and Tripoli, but whether it is only 1 remains unknown.
— Brian Castner (@Brian_Castner) May 21, 2020
It appears that the GNA is also pushing eastward towards Sirte, as there’s been numerous reports of air and drone strikes.
— Almanara Libya (@AlmanaraMedia) May 21, 2020
There are heavy clashes, but currently it appears that the LNA is on the back foot and the GNA, with its Turkish support is progressing largely unimpeded. It is expected that the siege of Tarhuna should start shortly.
Turkey is sending more supplies, as a Lockheed C-130B was detecting flying from Istanbul towards Misrata.
Turkish Air Force Lockheed C-130B (?) (callsign TUAF222) from Istanbul in flight south of Crete westbound pic.twitter.com/JVHfsStySe
— ItaMilRadar (@ItaMilRadar) May 21, 2020
The success of the GNA and it’s Turkish supporters are evidenced by the fact that tribal councils are providing written surrender notices without fighting and resisting the armies.
#Libya 🇱🇾: the local council of al-Urban (east of #Gharyan) has agreed to surrender to the #GNA without a fight as pro-GNA fighter continue to advance on #LNA forces across the region pic.twitter.com/6v8x9b0qgH
— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) May 21, 2020
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Number Of Syrian Militants Killed In Libya Tops 300: Monitoring Group
- Turkish Drones Destroyed At Least 9 Pantsir Systems Of Libyan Army In Last Few Days
- Turkish-led Forces Captured Another Town From Libyan Army