Eastern Libya forces retake key town from Tripoli-allied militias - spokesman

Elias Hubbard
June 2, 2020

It did not say when discussions would resume or give further details.

Ahmed Mismari, spokesman for the eastern-based Libyan National Army under Khalifa Haftar, said in a message that the LNA had retaken Asaba, and footage was published online that appeared to show LNA fighters inside the town.

Spokespeople for the military factions did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and the fate of the political process remains unclear after previous agreements collapsed. Troops were chasing Tripoli-allied forces to their stronghold in the nearby town of Gharyan, he added. The LNA said they shot down a Turkish drone before targeting forces in al-Asabaa.

Qasr bin Gashir, a town near the Tripoli district, has been under attack since Monday. Their forces are choking Hafter's forces around the disused Tripoli International Airport and pushing towards Hafter's last remaining western stronghold, Tarhuna.

Fighting broke out in residential neighbourhoods in the Libyan capital Tripoli between government forces and militias loyal to Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar despite ongoing worldwide mediation efforts to stop the fighting and reach a truce. The Tripoli government had been struggling to fend off a year-long siege of the capital by Haftar when Turkey escalated its air support.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

It is not clear if this is just internal and external posturing and signalling, to gain a stronger domestic and worldwide bargaining position or the realization that Hafter needs to be eliminated out of the equation to force a Libya-wide peace settlement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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