Africa News

Chronicle of a nine-month offensive to seize Libya’s capital

Issued on: Modified:

Both sides in Libyas conflict – forces loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar and the UN-recognised government based in Tripoli – have agreed to a ceasefire starting on Sunday.

Advertising

Read more

It comes after months of turmoil in which the eastern-based Haftar and his forces began an offensive to seize the Libyan capital from the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Here is a timeline:

Advance on Tripoli

On April 4, Haftar orders his troops to “advance” on Tripoli, seat since 2016 of the GNA, which he claims is backed by “terrorist” groups.

Haftar supports a parallel administration based in the eastern city of Tobruk, and his forces already control the countrys main southern oil fields.

His Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF, previously Libyan National Army) briefly seize Tripolis war-destroyed international airport but are pushed back on April 5.

Government strikes back

Government forces announce a counter-offensive called “Volcano of Anger” on April 7.

Haftars aircraft carry out a strike against Tripolis only functioning airport, Mitiga, on April 8.

On April 19, the White House says President Donald Trump recognised Haftars “significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libyas oil resources”.

On June 26, GNA forces deliver a major blow to Haftar by retaking the town of Gharyan, the LAAFs main supply base southwest of the capital.

Migrant centre hit

On July 2, an air strike hits a migrant detention centre in a Tripoli suburb. Fifty-three people are killed and 130 wounded. The GNA blames Haftars forces, which deny responsibility.

International involvement

On November 5, The New York Times reports that Russia has sent about 200 mercenaries to Libya to support Haftar. Moscow denies that it has dispatched the fighters.

Ten days later the US urges Haftar to end his offensive.

On December 10, a UN report accuses several countries of breaching a 2011 arms embargo by supplying the belligerent parties in the conflict.

It points to Turkey, which supports the GNA, as well as rivals Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that are among countries backing Haftar.

Turkish intervention

On December 12, Haftar announces a new “decisive battle” and an “advance on the heart of Tripoli”.

The GNA cabinet on December 19 approves the implementation of the military deal reached with Turkey.

Turkeys parliament on January 2 passes a bill aRead More – Source