Haftar pull out of parts of Tripoli after losing key strategic airbase

Haftar pull out of parts of Tripoli after losing key strategic airbase

Eastern Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) forces have reportedly pulled out of parts of Tripoli overnight after losing control of al-Watiya airbase, 125 kilometers south of Tripoli.

Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said the force had carried out a “redistribution and repositioning in the battle fronts, disengaging from some crowded residential areas”.

This is a significant setback for Haftar forces, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) troops have been fighting for over one year to take control of the capital and to oust the GNA government.

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After taking the base, they paraded what they said was a captured Russian-made Pantsir air defence system mounted on a truck.

The fall of al-Watiya aribase showed confusion and a lack of coordination among LNA forces.

LNA pokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said the airbase had been abandoned as part of a long-planned strategic decision and that only old, obsolete equipment was left there.

GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said on Twitter that “Haftar’s chance of success is now effectively zero” following his loss of Watiya.

Matteo Natalucci

Matteo Natalucci is a geopolitics expert working as an Editor in London covering all aspects of international affairs and technology. Matteo previously worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, IHS Markit, and Global Data. Get in touch with the author: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org
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