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Haftar Makes Major Advances on Tripoli, Sarraj Announces ‘Foiling of Coup’

Haftar Makes Major Advances on Tripoli, Sarraj Announces ‘Foiling of Coup’

Monday, 16 September, 2019 - 07:15
Smoke rises during fighting between the LNA and forces loyal to the GNA in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya May 5, 2019. (Reuters)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
Head of Libya's Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj stated that his forces have “foiled the coup against the capital”, hinting at the operation led by the Libyan National Army, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, to seize Tripoli.

This coincided with an LNA announcement that its forces made major advances on Sunday on various battlefronts in Tripoli.

The LNA media division said all units and factions launched an intense offensive on militia positions. It affirmed that some weapons and vehicles were destroyed and seized, while several militants were detained.

In contrast, the Volcano of Rage operation, launched by Sarraj’s forces, announced that its units rebuffed an offensives launched by the LNA at al-Ramla frontline in southern Tripoli and detained two members.

It also accused the army of shelling Mitiga International Airport with Grad missiles. The facility has been closed for two week. The Sarraj forces said the attack “is a continuation of the LNA’s criminal record in targeting infrastructure and airports and is a desperate attempt to compensate its losses.”

During a meeting with youths and sports figures in Tripoli on Saturday, Sarraj said the “coup was foiled and the aggression deterred.”

“The battle will not end with defeating the aggression, but political and diplomatic battles lie ahead and we must be ready for them,” he added.

He stressed that the battle will pit those who promote the civil state against those who want to reinstate the totalitarian regime.

Separately, Speaker of the Libyan parliament in Tobruk, Aguila Saleh announced the termination of the membership of lawmakers who have been boycotting the legislature, showing loyalty to the GNA and holding sessions in the capital.

In televised statements on Saturday, Saleh added that any meeting outside the official parliament headquarters is void, and the procedures taken in Tripoli violate the constitution and have not been recognized by anyone, including United Nations envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame.

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