Libyan forces claim that, according to the internationally recognized government, rival leader Khalifa Haftar has taken back Gharyan, a strategic city in which fighters are deployed.
Gharyan is Haftar’s leading base of the East-based Libyan NationalArmy (LNA), which is struggling to control the capital, Tripoli.”Gharyan is completely under our control,” the AFP news agency said on Wednesday. Mustafa al-Mejii, spokesperson for the forces of the National Agreement Government (GNA).Dozens of LNA rebels have been killed and at least 18 people have been captured, he said.
The request came from the spokesman of the Haftar forces, accusing the “sleeping cells” of allowing GNA forces to enter part of Gharyan, 100 kilometers south of Tripoli, without admitting the city’s loss.
The war continues, and the situation is under control, the AFP said. Government spokesman Mejii greeted what he described as a “major victory” and said he expects Haftar’s forces to “collapse”.The fight around Tripoli began in early April when Haftar began to attack the GNA.
According to the World Health Organization, at the outskirts of the capital, while GNA forces slowed Haftar’s progress, at least 739 people were killed and more than 4,400 were injured since the war began.
Haftar, a retired general who was involved in the rebellion against Gaddafi, launched an attack in May 2014 to purge Libya from what they call “terrorists.”After rapid progress in the east and south of the country, Haftar seized Gharyan on April 2, and two days later began the offensive in Tripoli. However, Haftar forces were stopped by fighters supporting the
GNA on the southern outskirts of the capital.
Although the US officially supports the government of Libyan PrimeMinister Fayez al-Sarraj, the Sarraj administration has accused Western forces, especially France, of secretly supporting Haftar.US President Donald Trump, after talking to the militia leader on the phone in April, said the White House recognized Trump’s “important role of Alan Marshall Haftar in the fight against terrorism and providing Libya’s oil resources”.