Haftar’s Forces Capture Several Towns In Response To GNA Attacks

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On March 25th and in the early hours of March 26th, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) reportedly had significant success in its push against the Government of National Accord (GNA) around Tripoli.

In response to an attack by the GNA on the al-Watiya air base, the LNA captured 5 towns from the enemy forces, as well as the Tunisia border crossing, and surrounded the city of Zwarah.

A graphic video was released by pro-LNA sources purportedly showing a large number of GNA fighters, reportedly most of them Syrian, transported to Libya by Turkey.

Immediately after the GNA attack on Al-Watiya, Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Major General Ahmed Al-Mismari gave a press conference.

According to him, the Government of National Accord (GNA) detained 16-20 Syrian mercenaries on suspicion of being coronavirus positive and transferred them to Al-Rahba Camp in Tajoura.

Additionally, during his speech, he called on all Libyans to comply with sanitary and hygienic measures to prevent coronavirus infection and commented on the attack of the GNA forces at al-Watiya air base, which the LNA forces managed to repel.

“This is all Turkey’s plan. The Turkish groups associated with the militants in Misrata, Homs, at the Mitiga airport and elsewhere – they are all foreign fighters, Syrian mercenaries and Turkish military with modern weapons. They were all specially transported here to support the militants of The Western Region [GNA]: Erdogan ordered them to make a major maneuver to attack any of the important military positions: either east of Misrata, or in the Tarhuna region, or on the fronts in Tripoli, or on the base of al-Watiya.”

He said that this activity is a violation of the ceasefire agreement from January, which according to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces is still in effect.

“Every day they make new attempts to conduct military operations and make new unsuccessful attacks … They fight in Tripoli, and 3 days ago sent reinforcements, consisting of Chadian rebels and Syrian terrorists, to the east of Misrata – to the region of Abu Grain. Also, the Turks use various means of electronic warfare. There are also groups of mercenaries who are concentrated in the regions of Msallati and Zliten.”

Finally, he spoke of GNA-aligned militia, who connected with the Turkish troops at Mitiga air base, who took part in the attack on al-Watiya.

“Osama Juwalei’s militia is largely connected with the Turks stationed at Mitig Air Base. Today they carried out an attack on the territory of al-Batuy air base.

This base is Libya’s westernmost air base and strategically important point. This airbase with a very large area is about 50 square kilometers.

Along with the attack on the air base, attacks were conducted on our forces in Tripoli. The battalion, which protects the air base, has an administrative headquarters, and the personnel are stretched along the border of the base, where there is a fence – about 40 km long.

The main enemy forces were able to enter the territory of the base, but the defenders were able to quickly respond and repulse the attack. I talked with the officers defending the base.

All of them confirmed to me that the enemy was driven back more than 20 km from the base. Our troops carried out a successful counterattack. This attack is a very serious violation of the ceasefire.”

On the side of the GNA, the Volcano of Rage operations room also released a statement of what transpired on March 25th.

الإيجاز الصحفي لعملية بركان الغضب للمتحدث الرسمي باسم الجيش الليبي عقيد طيار محمد قنونو – الاربعاء 25 مارس 2020استمر…

Posted by ‎عملية بركان الغضب‎ on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

According to the statement, over the past three days, shelling continued on the capital of Tripoli, on March 25th attacks were carried out on the areas of Abu Salim and al-Saba, which led to civilian casualties in their homes, who were fulfilling the quarantine obligations.

On March 25th, LNA forces tried to destroy the ambulance station, as well as the warehouse of the medical supply department, with their shelling.

The operational headquarters of Operation Volcano of Rage launched Operation Storm of the World, during which it attacked the positions and artillery crews that fired on Tripoli.

GNA forces carried out a successful operation at the al-Watiya air base, during which several mercenaries were captured and several pieces of equipment and ammunition were captured as trophies.

GNA forces carried out a successful attack in most of the military areas in the south of Tripoli, took control of new positions, captured several LNA soldiers, destroyed pickups and several UAE armored vehicles.

Finally, GNA units should take preventive measures against coronavirus during contact with mercenaries and their equipment.

Both sides claim significant success, with the LNA appearing to provide some more evidence of their claims.

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