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Haftar strikes Tripoli as Libya’s rival GNA retakes major coastal cities

Haftar strikes Tripoli as Libya’s rival GNA retakes major coastal cities

The Libyan strongman General Haftar’ forces launched airstrikes on Tripoli early on Tuesday while the GNA brigades have seized several cities on the west of the capital city, AFP reported.

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) have declared that coastal cities of Surman, Sabratha, Al-Ajilat, Al-Jamail, Ragdaline, Al-Essa and Zeltin were recaptured on Monday. Despite the Libyan National Army (LNA) lost those cities it continued to airstrike Tripoli throughout the night.

No casualties have been reported as of midday on Tuesday but several homes near the airbase Mitiga were destroyed by the LNA airstrikes. The GNA accused Gen Haftar of taking revenge against Tripoli’s civilians following losses suffered by his forces.

“The criminal militia and mercenaries have taken out their anger on residential neighbourhoods of Tripoli to avenge their defeat, firing dozens of rockets and missiles on the capital indiscriminately,” GNA spokesman Mohamad Gnounou said.

Haftar’s LNA has been staging an offensive on GNA-held Tripoli for nearly a year.

Over a year, the LNA vouches for military support from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, while Turkey, Qatar and allied Syrian fighters are backing the GNA.

In Tripoli, the two rival administrations have been vying for the control of the oil-rich country that has suffered conflict since the ousting of Libya’s longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In fact, the situation in recent weeks is deteriorating: fighting between the rival forces has continued to rage despite the threat posed by the coronavirus on the country’s fragmented and overloaded health system.