LNA lies 100 km from Misrata’s center: Spox


Mon, 27 Jan 2020 - 12:56 GMT

Members of Misrata forces, under the protection of Tripoli's forces, prepare themselves to go to the front line in Tripoli, Libya April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Hani Amara

Members of Misrata forces, under the protection of Tripoli's forces, prepare themselves to go to the front line in Tripoli, Libya April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Hani Amara

CAIRO - 27 January 2020: The Libyan National Army (LNA) declared on Sunday that it lies 100 kilometers away from Misrata’s center and that fighting broke out in southern Tripoli in Al Hadaba and Abu Salim.

The LNA affirmed taking over Al Qaddahiyah, Al Hisha, and Abou Grin villages eastern Misrata confiscating military vehicles and capturing some members of militias.

Sky News Arabia reported that in parallel mercenary militants brought by Turkey from Syria to Libya to join the militias of the Government of National Accord (GNA) are fleeing to Europe. The number of militants who left for Italy is 47, according to LNA. Seventeen of those left from Tripoli Port as the cost of smuggling an individual rose from $700 to $1,300 over this week.

The network reported that the LNA arrested a man that turned out to be an IS militant who escaped a Syrian-Democratic-Forces prison amid a strike by Turkey in October. The LNA also arrested five others who were about to leave for Italy from Al Zawya coastal city. Four of those knew each other in Syria and met the fifth on a plane from Istanbul to Libya. Sky News Arabia added that at least 147 mercenaries made down payments to migrate to Europe soon.

As reported by AP, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSML) released a statement on Saturday saying that several countries who participated in the Berlin conference have broken the arms embargo.

“Over the last ten days, numerous cargo and other flights have been observed landing at Libyan airports in the western and eastern parts of the country providing the parties with advanced weapons, armored vehicles, advisers and fighters,” the UN statement read according to AP.

Spokesperson of LNA told Sky News Arabia on Sunday that Turkey is bringing Nusra Front militants from Syria to Libya at a rapid pace, and that combating terrorism and criminal militias is not a violation of the truce declared on January 12.

The recommendation of the Berlin conference held on January 19 is that no foreign country shall interfere in the Libyan issue.

The conference was attended by Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj, Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and UN Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi Algerian President Abdul Majeed Tebboune, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC) and Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit.

Mesmary announced on January 18 that Libyan tribes and people had shut down oil fields and ports as the revenues have been used by GNA to pay for foreign fighters.

It is worthy to mention that the GNA is a non-elected UN-recognized interim government that is based in Tripoli and protected by militias. On the other hand, the elected Libyan House of Representatives convenes in Tobruk while the General Command of the Libyan Armed Forces known as Libyan National Army (LNA) is located in Benghazi.

The National Oil Corporation (NOC), headquartered in Tripoli, declared that the General Command of the Libyan Armed Forces and the Petroleum Facilities Guard ordered the administrations of Sirte Oil Company, Harougue Oil Operations, Waha Oil Company, Zueitina Oil Company, and Arabian Gulf Oil Company to stop exports from the ports of Sider, Zueitina, Harigua, Brega, and Ras Lanuf.

The negotiations held in Moscow on January 14 by Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and Prime Minister of Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj ended without reaching a truce agreement.

The LNA had announced earlier on the same day that it would not withdraw from the territories it conquered in Tripoli’s outskirts, and that it is determined to free the entire Libyan soil from militias and terror groups.

A ceasefire between both parties started on January 12; however, the LNA and Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh announced on the same day that militias affiliated to Tripoli-based GNA had violated the ceasefire. Nevertheless, the LNA affirmed its commitment to the ceasefire.

The following day, the Libyan foreign ministry issued a statement requesting the international community to fulfill its duties by pressuring GNA-affiliated militias to surrender and give up their weapons obeying the Libyan people’s will.

Anadolu Agency reported that the LNA is amassing southern Tripoli while Al Arabiya announced that clashes resumed in Salahuddin district south of Tripoli.

On January 6, LNA captured Sirte and was advancing towards Misrata after entering Tripoli’s outskirts.

On January 8, Turkey declared sending 35 soldiers to Libya claiming they would not take part in combat. Nevertheless, Libya Review publication reported on January 11 that three Turkish soldiers were killed in Libya, and six others were injured. The bodies were brought to Misrata airport while the injured have received treatment at Nalut hospital near Tripoli.

Later in December, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 300 militants affiliated to Turkey have been relocated to the Libyan capital from Syria and that 900-1,000 militants moved to Turkish camps to receive training.

Earlier in the same month, Turkey and GNA signed two MoUs pertinent to military cooperation and maritime border demarcation.



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