Libya’s Haftar orders forces to advance toward ‘decisive battle’ for Tripoli

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Commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar has ordered his forces to begin advancing toward Tripoli and said gunmen in the city would be provided with safety in exchange for laying down their arms.

“The Libyan National Army is inevitably victorious in the Battle of Tripoli. We call on the units that are advancing toward Tripoli to abide by the rules of engagement. We call on the militants who are fighting our army to remain in their homes and they will be safe,” Haftar said in a televised address late on Thursday.

Haftar has been leading an assault to take the capital from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Hours after Haftar called on his forces to launch what he described as the final battle for Tripoli, western diplomats began to gather in the northwestern city of Janzour in preparation to leave Libya by sea, sources told Al Arabiya.

The LNA advance came on the day flights resumed at the Libyan capital Tripoli’s sole functioning airport, three months after it was suspended due to repeated rocket attacks.

Haftar’s forces, which accuse the GNA of using Mitiga for military purposes, say they are targeting “Turkish drones” being launched from the airport to attack their troops in southern Tripoli.

(With AFP)

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