Five killed among Haftar’s forces at Tripoli’s gates

Haftar has cast himself as the person who can bring stability to Libya after years of conflict. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Ahmad al-Mismari, spokesman of Libya’s eastern-based army, said on Friday that five soldiers were killed in clashes with the forces of the Tripoli-based government, as the army is trying to take over the city.

Military units lost five members on Thursday and Friday and is progressing toward the capital Tripoli, the spokesman told local TV channel Libya al-Hadath.

“We have complete control over Tripoli international airport. We also took over Azizia and Swani (southern Tripoli towns). Therefore, we have complete control over southern Tripoli,” al-Mismari said.

“Tomorrow, another operation will be launched to progress to the entries of Tripoli. We are stationed 20 km south of Tripoli,” the spokesman said.

Al-Mismari said that a fighter jet attacked army forces in southern Libya on Friday, without causing any casualties.

The army, led by Khalifa Haftar, on Thursday launched an operation to take over Tripoli where the UN-backed government is based.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who concluded a visit to Libya Friday, expressed deep concern over the military escalation in Tripoli.

“I still hope it will be possible to avoid a bloody confrontation in and around Tripoli,” Guterres told reporters before departing from the eastern city of Benghazi.

Haftar’s army is allied with the eastern-based government, as the country is politically divided between western and eastern governments.

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