Libya: UN-brokered gov’t retakes three cities from Haftar’s forces

Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has gained significant territory in fighting west of the capital, Tripoli.

A government spokesman said GNA forces took control of three key cities on the Mediterranean coast on Monday, as they expelled troops loyal to the Libyan National Army (LNA) of General Khalifa Haftar.

The army seized the towns of Sabratha, Al Ajaylat, and Surman from forces loyal to Gen Khalifa Haftar.

“The operation was accomplished with the efforts of the GNA-affiliated Libyan army, in addition to the supporting revolutionaries’ troops coming from the Western Region, Tripoli, and from Misrata reaching to Ras Ajdir,” said a GNA forces commander.

Earlier on Monday, Colonel Muhammad Qanunu said the GNA’s air defense intercepted planes belonging to Haftar in the Abu Grain area and shot down two Chinese-made Wing Loong aircraft and one Russian Mi-35 helicopter.

The GNA Twitter account shared footage purportedly showing captured armored vehicles, supplied to the LNA by the UAE.

Fighting between the rival forces has continued in recent weeks despite the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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