Fight against Turkey no longer just in Tripoli: Libyan National Army spokesperson

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Libyans will be the ones to get Turkey out of Libya and the battle against Turkish forces will no longer remain only in Tripoli, Libyan National Army spokesperson Major General Ahmed al-Mismari told Al Arabiya in an interview on Thursday.

“Libyan army chief General Khalifa Hafter fully knows the intentions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Al-Wefaq government militia in Tripoli,” al-Mismari said, referring to the Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

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“The Libyan army will return to arms if the Turks are not removed … The army has re-positioned outside Tripoli to provide an opportunity for a political solution,” al-Mismari added.

The Libyan National Army announced on Thursday it had captured the town of Fam Molga west of Tarhunah, 65 kilometers to the southeast of Tripoli.

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The LNA said it was withdrawing from Tripoli districts starting on Thursday, according to a military source, while forces fighting for Libya’s UN-recognized government said they had regained control over Tripoli.

Al-Sarraj, the head of Libya's UN-recognized GNA government said on Thursday that his forces were "determined" to take over the entire country from his rival Haftar. Sarraj recently met in Ankara after meeting Turkish President Erdogan, his main supporter.

The UN-recognized Government of National Accord led by Fayez al-Sarraj is fighting a civil war against an alternative government based in the eastern city of Benghazi whose forces are led by General Khalifa Haftar. The GNA relies on a plethora of militias, including Islamist and terrorist groups, formed in and after the 2011 uprising against longtime dictator Gaddafi.

Haftar launched an offensive to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli in April vowing to end the rule of militias that include hardline groups linked to al-Qaeda and others.

(With agencies)