Politics, Middle East, Africa

Libya's UN-recognized gov't denies fall of Tripoli

Haftar launched campaign to capture Tripoli, where UN-recognized gov't is based

Ammar al-Khalfi   | 16.12.2019
Libya's UN-recognized gov't denies fall of Tripoli

TRIPOLI 

The Libyan army has denied reports of the imminent fall of the capital Tripoli in the hands of forces led by East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar.

"The situation on the ground is still in our favor," military spokesman Mohamed Qanunu told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

"Civilians, however, are suffering as a result of air bombardment by war criminal Haftar," he said.

In early April, Haftar launched a wide-ranging campaign to capture Tripoli, where the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is based.

Qanunu accused Haftar of using mercenaries from Africa and Russia in his attacks on Tripoli.

"Atrocities have been committed [by Haftar's forces] against civilians in Tripoli and its outskirts in recent months," he said.

Last month, Turkey and GNA reached two separate memorandums of understanding (MoU), one on military cooperation and the other one on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said Ankara might consider sending troops to Libya if the GNA made such a request.

"Logistical support will be enough for us in limited matters, in accordance with the deals made between GNA and Ankara," Qanunu said.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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