LNA advances in south Libya, pressing GNA

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

BENGHAZI – Libyan National Army (LNA) continues to advance in the south of Libya during heavy clashes with terrorist and Chadian groups. Meanwhile, head of Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, continues to lose areas of influence, further isolating the GNA in the capital.

Although Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar did not declare the army’s advancement towards the capital, close military officials told Asharq al-Awsat that the liberation of the South would greatly facilitate the army’s mission if it was ordered to liberate the Tripoli, which has been under militia control for five years.

“Controlling the entire South will certainly facilitate the next step to enter Tripoli,” said a military officer who asked not to be identified.

The officer indicated that the whole southern part of the country is now under the control of the army from Sabha to Qurayyat, adding that the locals are waiting for the arrival of the army.

“The next battle is in Tripoli and it won’t be easy,” admitted the military officer.

Although Sarraj’s government seems to have succumbed to the idea that Haftar’s forces are in control of the South now, it is preparing for a possible battle in Tripoli soon.

Intelligence and military sources told Asharq al-Awsat that commander of the western military zone of Sarraj’s troops, Major General Ousama al-Juwaili, received about twenty containers, which are likely to contain weapons.

The containers “have already been monitored, received in Tripoli and sent to the headquarters of the region, and it seems that they are preparing for battle,” said a military official.

Commander of Karama Operations Room Major General Abdul Salam al-Hassi told Asharq al-Awsat that no military expert can predict the timing of the army entering Tripoli.

“We are still in the South now, and we are in the process of liberating it, helping citizens restore their normal lives, establishing stability and security, and chasing terrorists and mercenaries,” he indicated, adding that Tripoli will be dealt with at the right time.

The Council of Ministers of the Presidential Council’s (PC) government held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the situation facing the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

Earlier, Libyan Office of Public Prosecutor in Tripoli issued an arrest warrant of the Chairman of the Authority, Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed.

Mahmoud was detained over financial corruption and embezzlement cases.

Sarraj chaired the meeting of the Board of Trustees of LIA at the Presidential Council’s headquarters in Tripoli. The meeting was attended by Minister of Planning Tahir al-Jahimi, Finance Faraj Boumtari, Economy and Trade Ali al-Issawi.

The Authority’s board of directors had promised earlier this month to directly supervise the investment funds within the framework of a series of reform measures.

(Asharq Al-Awsat)


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