The Libyan National Army (LNA) said in a Facebook post on Friday that it now controls Tripoli’s airport, the oil tanks, and the Naqliya military camp after it pushed back the “militias”.
“The LNA is advancing after violent clashes on roads that lead to the center of the capital. The GNA retreated leaving bodies lying on the road to Tripoli airport,” the statement said.
Major General Ahmed al-Mesmani, spokesperson of the LNA, told Al Arabiya that the next few hours will surprise all Libyans and those following up with the situation, adding that the battles for Tripoli are ongoing.
In an interview with Al Arabiya, Brigade General Khalid al-Mahjoub of the LNA said that they have arrested a number of militia members in Tripoli, adding that the army advanced into “the most important roads” leading into the capital.
The LNA, led by General Khalifa Haftar, launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias.
The announcement came a day after Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez al-Sarraj, formally requested from Turkey “air, ground, and sea” military support to fend off the LNA offensive.
Sarraj relies on a plethora of militias, including Islamist and terrorist groups, formed in and after the 2011 uprising against longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Nine hundred and forty militia members have been killed since the beginning of the battles in April 2018, according to al-Mesmari.