On April 8th, the spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Major General Ahmed Al-Mismari said that the army took control of Tripoli International Airport, Yarmouk Camp and Wadi Al-Rabie.
“Tripoli International Airport is fully under the control of the army forces of the General Command,” he said at a press conference.
The announcement happened just as the 9th force from Abu Salim said the Tripoli International Airport was allegedly under the control of the Government of National Accord (GNA).
Al-Mismari also said that the GNA Air Force bomber that flew out of Misrata air base struck a farm that was previously owned by Muammar Gaddafi in the Sawknah area. According to him, the farm was a civilian target, completely free of any military forces and not a supply base. There were no casualties.
On the same day, the LNA Air Force launched an air strike on the Mitiga International airport, east of Tripoli, resulting in damage on a military helicopter.
— Abdulkader Assad (@Abd0Assad) April 8, 2019
Major General Mohamed al-Manfour, commander of the Air Force’s Operations Room in the Libyan National Army, said that the Libyan Air Force had repeatedly tried to avoid bombing targets at the Mitiga Air Base in Tripoli. Despite that, the militias forced the LNA’s hand.
According to al-Manfour, militias were preparing aircraft to strike LNA targets.
He added that “the Air Force had tried to avoid targeting any air force at the base, where several warnings had been directed at them, but some had chosen to operate under the command of militias led by internationally wanted persons. So now they have to face the consequences of their actions.”
“We can put the Mitiga Air Base completely out of service or so any other base, but we abide by the instructions of the LNA General Commander on taking into account the interests of civilians, passengers, patients and students after the militias burned Tripoli International Airport in 2014,” Al-Manfour added.
Major General Al-Mismari said that the Air Force Chief of Staff has established an air umbrella to monitor any military flights in and around Tripoli.
Civillian flights from Mitiga International Airport continued shortly after the strikes.
#Libya– photos showing the explosions at #Mitiga International Airport, the only operational airport in #Tripoli. Unclear at the moment if this is the result of airstrike or artillery shelling. pic.twitter.com/KnDCqS0K8y
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) April 8, 2019
On April 7th, bombardment by the LNA Air Force resulted in the destruction of a number of military vehicles at the Presidential Council’s Naqlia camp in Tripoli.
On April 8th, the LNA reported that it had taken control into more positions in Tripoli and is closing in on the city center.
“The Libyan National Army is currently chasing the remnants of armed groups who fled under the hits of our forces and left the bodies of their militants behind them dumped on roadsides,” the Military Information Division said.
Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar of the LNA also ordered the reinforcement of the city of Gharyan, south of the capital Tripoli and other towns controlled by LNA. The measure was taken to reinforce peace and protect the population from militants.
On April 9th, the LNA formed the Misrata Operations room, headed headed by Major General Ahmed Salem al-Darsi tasked with dealing with the pro-GNA militants in the area, operating the Misrata military airbase.
Photographs also showed LNA AFVs moving toward Tripoli.
The LNA Spokesperson also answered the international community’s calls to fight terrorism, saying that it is precisely doing that in Tripoli. He also said that the LNA War in Tripoli is on terror and its allies.
The LNA also moved to cut off entries to the city of Sirte, which lies on the Mediterranean coast, approximately at the midway point between Benghazi and Tripoli. The GNA-controlled city is likely to come under offensive by the LNA shortly.
On April 8th, a member of the GNA – Ali Al-Qatrani, announced his resignation from the Council, announcing his support for the Libyan National Army (LNA) in its operation of liberating of Tripoli.
In a statement, Qatrani attributed the decision to resign to the fact that the decisions in the presidential council are taken individually by its leader, Fayez al-Sarraj, under the threat of armed militias, which would only lead us to further suffering and dissension. Al-Qatrani described the GNA as being with a weak will. He blamed it for the collapse in all sectors of the country and the suffering of the citizen.
On the side of the GNA, photographs showed highly-equipped soldiers and a destroyed LNA tank south of Tripoli. Furthermore, according to GNA reports 34 LNA fighters surrendered and their vehicles were captured.
#Libya– #GNA forces' photos showing well-equipped (beyond the norm) fighters, as well as an LNA tank (apparently from 276 bn./73 bde.) destroyed south of #Tripoli. Op "Volcano of Wrath" also claim 34 LNA fighters surrendered&vehicles captured (mostly with empty fuel tanks) pic.twitter.com/7jiVbQYZ0G
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) April 9, 2019
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Military Situation In Libya On April 9, 2019 (Map Update)
- In Maps: Pro-GNA Forces Launch Counter-Attack In Attempt To Take Back Tripoli Airport
- A New Battle For Tripoli: Preconditions and Prospects