Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Libya: LNA Forces Prepare for Last Push against Extremists in Benghazi - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Cairo- Fierce clashes among militias renewed in Libya’s capital Tripoli as the U.N.-backed government of National Accord (GNA) stood idle. On the other hand, Libyan National Army (LNA) forces led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar continued their push against extremist militias west of Benghazi, located east of Libya.

Security sources located in Tripoli said that militiamen had blocked city streets inhibiting civilian movement and pedestrians. Reasons behind the clashes remain unknown.

Local residents and activists say that tension across Tripoli had only risen for the second day in a row- streets remained blocked, which suggests a great chance of clashes restarting. Armed militias have been overrunning Tripoli for the past two years.

Some of the Tripoli militias support the GNA led by the internationally-backed Fayez al-Sarraj.

LNA forces reported that an offensive had cleared out one of the last extremist grips in Benghazi successfully. Two LNA soldiers had died in action. More so, Haftar-led forces foiled an attempted suicide attack, without any resulting collateral damage.

The LNA also announced discovering mass graves as it pushed through extremist territory.

Libya slid into political turmoil and conflict after Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in an uprising five years ago. In 2014, rival parliaments and governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya, both backed by loose alliances of armed groups. The eastern government, supported by the LNA, is opposed to a U.N.-backed government that arrived in Tripoli in March.

The Haftar-led LNA is a figurehead for factions aligned with an eastern-based government, which has been fighting hardliners and other militias in Benghazi for more than two years.