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Libyan War Report – Apr. 30, 2019: Haftar Forces Launch Push To Encircle Tripoli

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Libyan War Report – Apr. 30, 2019: Haftar Forces Launch Push To Encircle Tripoli

The new battle for Tripoli entered its fourth week. Since April 4, when Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar officially announced its Operation Flood of Dignity, the Libyan National Army (LNA) has reached Ayn Zara, but has not been able to capture it and reach the city itself.

At the same time, the LNA has gained control of Tripoli International Airport and several nearby areas thus creating a foothold for further advances there.

Forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) have prevented the LNA from entering the Tripoli and launches several counter-attacks in the airport area and other parts of the frontline. However, they appear to have not enough resources to push the LNA back from the Tripoli countryside.

In this situation, the LNA leadership decided to re-shape its efforts and focused its military activities in the area southeast of Tripoli. LNA units have captured the village of Zatarnah and advanced on the villages of Laftah and Khallet al-Kahili. The goal of this effort is to cut off the road linking GNA forces in Tripoli with their allies in Misrata.

Both sides claim that they conduct successful operations inflicting large casualties to their enemies. However, in fact, the intensity of clashes at the most of the frontline as well as airstrikes by GNA and LNA warplanes remains relatively small. The main reason is the lack of resources, which had been drawn by years of chaos erupted in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi’s government.

In recent series of clashes, the LNA captured two battle tanks and a self-propelled artillery gun. Pro-GNA sources claimed that GNA forces had killed up to a dozen of LNA fighters.

Local sources continue speculating that the LNA may launch an offensive on the city of Sirte. In the first days of Operation Flood of Dignity, LNA units made several advances in the nearby area, but no large offensive actions were undertaken.

Over the past week, there have been reports that the LNA has been deploying reinforcements to the Sirte frontline in an attempt to exploit the GNA focus on the battle for Tripoli. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely that the LNA itself is able to deploy enough forces to carry out two major offensive operations in northern Libya simultaneously.

In the coming week, the LNA will likely continue its slow push south and southeast of Tripoli aiming to shorten the frontline where it’s possible to cut off logistical lines of GNA forces. In the event of success, it will gain real chances to capture Tripoli.

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  • Dick Von Dast’Ard

    Some Egyptian/UAE volunteers (small batallion sized) would soon put the kibosh into Sirte and bring more pressure upon the Tripoli inserted leadership of the GNA.

    • abuqahwa

      Yes and need to get in quickly before Turkey and Qatar redeploy their jihadis from Syria

    • David Parker

      Who are the good guys in this fight? If the US backs Haftar, how can the LNA be the good guys? Is Haftar going to carry on all the good things Quadaffi wanted? Gold money, oil wealth distributed to the people, etc.?

      • meridius

        Whose bidding Hafter will ultimately do, is anyone guess at this point. If does the bidding of the Libyan people, that would be the best of all options.
        At this point there are at least 5-6 major and regional power vowing for influence around him. Some for petrol, others for geo political and military reasons.

        We shall see once the emerges as the leader. However there are doubts whether he gets to that point as the is 75 years old and has had a recent cerebral stroke for which he was treated in France. He may not live for much longer to see the fruits of this military campaign.