Libya’s UN-backed government warns of new offensive by rival Haftar forces, 2 months after truce was announced
The Tripoli-based UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has instructed its forces to brace for a possible attack by the rival army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Friday.
Libya’s GNA Defense Minister Salahedin Al-Namroush has ordered troops to prepare for a possible attack by Haftar’s forces, backed by the rival House of Representatives based in the port city of Tobruk in eastern Libya, local media reported.
On Thursday, Al-Namroush wrote on Twitter that the Libyan Army was “committed” to the truce, but was also ready to respond to Haftar who he accused violating the ceasefire in the past.
The minister said the offensive may occur at the Bani Walid, Gharyan and Tarhuna regions, all of which are located on the path to Tripoli.
The ceasefire was announced by the GNA in August after several months of heavy fighting during which Haftar tried to capture Tripoli. The Tobruk government formally accepted the truce. However, the Haftar-led Libyan National Army (LNA) soon rejected the ceasefire dubbing it a “media marketing” stunt. LNA spokesperson Ahmed Mismari told media that forces in the west of Libya were using the ceasefire to dispatch equipment and mobilize front lines in the center of the country.
Libya has remained torn by a civil war since its long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in 2011 in a violent uprising followed by a NATO military intervention.
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