Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, General Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), announced on April 4 the start of a large-scale operation to recapture Libya’s capital, Tripoli, from the Libyan Government of National Accord (LGNA) and its militants.
“To our army, that’s stationed on all axis in Tripoli’s outskirt, today we, God’s willing, resume our victorious march … Today we answer the call of our people in our precious capital as we promised them … Our date with the glorious liberation has come, so step forward … And enter it [Tripoli] with peace,” the Libyan Marshal said in a voice message announcing the beginning of the long-awaited operation.
Few hours after Haftar’s announcement, the LNA captured the city of Gharyan, only 80km south of Tripoli, from pro-LGNA militants who withdrew. LNA forces were reportedly welcomed by the locals.
Major General Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the LNA, confirmed the liberation of the city and said that Marshal Haftar is personally following the developments on the battlefield.
A day earlier, the LNA began massing its forces around Tripoli. Back then, the LGNA condemned the move in an official statement and announced general mobilization to protect its positions within and around the capital.
The LNA claims that its move to capture Tripoli is not a part of political struggle, but an operation against terrorists who are hiding there. If the army captures the Libyan capital, it will not likely work to neutralize the LGNA, but rather seek to reach a political agreement with it.
More on this topic: