Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) on Monday announced regaining control of eight cities west of the capital Tripoli from militias loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.
Mohammed Qanunu, Spokesman for GNA forces, said in a statement the forces took control the cities of Sorman, Sabratah, Al-Ajaylat, Al-Jamil, Qirdalin, Zelten, Al-Assah and Mellitah.
He added that GNA forces were after the remnants of the fleeing members of the militia, and were continuing their progress as part of Operation Peace Storm.
The latest military gains allows the GNA to secure the road from the Tunisian border to Abugrein area, southeast of Tripoli.
The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched "Operation Peace Storm" on March 26 to counter the attacks on the capital.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat, Ali Abo Rezeg and Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara