Libyan National Army downs Turkish drone as forces push further into Tripoli
The Libyan National Army (LNA) confirms its air defense systems have shot down a Turkish drone above the town of Ain Zara, some 11 km from the heart of Tripoli as the eastern forces attempt to push further into the capital.
This comes after the LNA confirmed it was making progress south of the capital Tripoli, declaring its control over the Hamza camp early on Friday. Brigadier Khaled al-Mahjoub said that the army advanced in more than one direction in the western region, pointing to its control of al-Zahra Bridge and Nasiriyah, in addition to the Harissa Factory.
In addition, it was announced that the military units were able to secure northwest of the Yarmouk camp, south of the capital.
An Al Arabiya correspondent earlier reported that violent clashes took place in al-Matabat Street, south of Tripoli.
Libyan General Khalifa Haftar ordered his forces last on Thursday to advance toward Tripoli.
Haftar, a retired general who heads the LNA, launched an offensive on Tripoli on April 4 against the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.
The LNA accuses the GNA of supporting “terrorists” and said any their latest push toward Tripoli was the “final and ultimate battle.”
Earlier in May, Al Arabiya English reported that the LNA released video footage of Turkish military trainers showing militia fighters in Tripoli how to operate Turkish armored personal carriers.
US intelligence assessment acquired by Al Arabiya English at the time said Syrian fighters from Idlib are fighting on the front line, alongside the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade. The battle-hardened Syrian fighters, said to be formerly connected with the al-Nusra Front, which was associated with al-Qaeda, are reported to be “showing up in the low hundreds, maybe 150-200 in Libya.”