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LNA Denies GNA Advance in Tripoli as Fliers Call for Revolt in Capital

LNA Denies GNA Advance in Tripoli as Fliers Call for Revolt in Capital

Thursday, 23 May, 2019 - 06:45
The LNA denied that the GNA was making advances in Tripoli. (Reuters)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
The Libyan National Army (LNA) denied on Wednesday claims that the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces were making advances in the capital Tripoli.

Commander of the western operations Major General Abdul Salam al-Hassi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the “opposite was happening” and that the LNA was making advances.

They have marched some 10 kilometers and the LNA has for some time seized control of Tripoli airport, he revealed.

Operations are going according to plan, he said of the march on the capital that was launched on April 4 to rid it of terrorist and criminal groups.

Commenting on the LNA’s refusal to halt a Turkish arms shipment that was delivered to Tripoli port, Hassi said that the reason for this move will be revealed later.

He added that the LNA knew in advance about the shipment.

The GNA forces had claimed on Wednesday that they made advances in Tripoli by capturing a military barracks that was used by the LNA.

On the ground, fliers in support of LNA commander Khalifa Haftar were circulated in Tripoli. They informed the residents that a major uprising was in store in the capital to champion the LNA on Saturday. They urged also the residents to rise up against the pro-GNA militias.

Meanwhile, head of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, paid a surprise visit to Tunisia where he held talks with President Beji Caid Essebsi.

He said that the ongoing conflict in Libya pits powers that seek the return of “military and totalitarian rule and others that are dedicated to building a democratic civilian state.”

Essebsi, for his part, expressed his deep concern over the ongoing operation against Tripoli, stressing the need to return to the political solution.

There can be no military solution to the crisis, he remarked.

Separately, the Higher Council of State, led by Khaled al-Mishri, one of Libya’s most prominent Muslim Brotherhood officials, urged Sarraj to boycott the upcoming Arab League summit set for late May.

The council justified its demand by citing the Arab League’s alleged stance on the Tripoli operation.

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