The Libyan National Army (LNA) units of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar completely left the vicinity of Tripoli.
Before this, the LNA defeated the troops of the Government of National Accord (PNS). Thus, the attempt of Haftar’s forces to take the capital of Libya, which began 14 months ago, ended in failure, Radio Liberty reports.
Haftar’s opponents managed to occupy the international airport and other areas south of Tripoli, reports the BBC. However, hostilities continue, although both sides of the conflict have agreed to hold peace talks.
In Libya, after the overthrow of Colonel-dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the civil war does not stop. Faiz Saraj, an UN-recognized national consensus government, operates in Tripoli, and Abdullah Abdurrahman Al-Thani’s interim cabinet and parliament, supported by the LNA Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, operate in the country’s east.
On April 25, 2019, Haftar announced the withdrawal from the agreement on the peaceful settlement of the conflict and on the formation of the PNS, signed on December 17, 2015. Haftar also said that the Libyan National Army is taking control of all territories under its control. In April 2019, his army launched an assault on the Libyan capital under the pretext of “liberating it from terrorists.” However, the offensive choked on the approaches to the city.
According to media reports, Haftar is supported by Russia, France, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt. On the side of the government in Tripoli, in turn, are Turkey, Qatar, and Italy. In May, it became known about a report by UN observers that there were about 1,200 mercenaries from the Wagner PMC in Libya, who are associated with Putin’s “cook” Yevgeny Prigozhin. Among these mercenaries are citizens of Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine.
At the end of April 2020, the head of the Libyan PNS Interior Ministry, Fathi Bashaga, accused Wagnerites of using chemical weapons in the country.
Moscow denies government involvement in the Libyan conflict. President Vladimir Putin noted in January that even if Russian citizens are in Libya, they do not represent Russia and do not express their interests.
Meanwhile, the African command of the US Armed Forces said that Russia has recently flown to Libya at least 14 combat aircraft, which are located at the airbase of the LNA in the central part of the country.