Middle East, Africa

Libyan government forces attack Haftar militias

Airstrikes target militants loyal to renegade commander holed up at Al-Watiya airbase, says official

Halime Afra Aksoy   | 15.04.2020
Libyan government forces attack Haftar militias Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) forces ( Amru Salahuddien - Anadolu Agency )

TRIPOLI 

Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said Wednesday that its forces conducted airstrikes on militants loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar.   

GNA military spokesman Mohammed Kanunu issued a brief statement on the developments at Al-Watiya airbase in western Libya. 

Kanunu said the airstrikes targeted pro-Haftar soldiers who had fled to the airbase. 

Al-Watiya is regarded as one of the most important airbases in the country and is second only to Mitiga Airport. It was captured in August 2014 by Haftar, the leader of illegally armed forces in eastern Libya, who used it as his headquarters for western operations. 

On April 3, airstrikes were carried out on Al-Watiya, which was mostly under the control of Haftar's militants. The operation destroyed three of Haftar's Su-22 fighter jets and many heavy weapons and facilities. 

The damage caused by the operation played a key role in the GNA gaining air superiority in western regions of the country. 

Tuesday marked a huge success for the GNA as it cleared 3,000 square kilometers of land occupied by Haftar’s militants following operations in western Libya. 

The GNA has retaken seven towns and two cities from Haftar’s forces, including Sabratha and Surman, and controls the area along the country’s western coastline.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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