Libya: Haftar commands LNA fighters to advance toward Tripoli

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Libyan National Army (LNA) chief General Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops to advance towards the capital Tripoli promising an “inevitably victorious” campaign during a televised address on Thursday.

“The time has come, the time of sweeping storm, the moment that every free honourable Libyan has been waiting for, the moment that our people in Tripoli has been impatiently waiting for since it was occupied by the terrorist, since it became a nest for criminals who threatened it’s residents with guns.” Haftar said.

During the speech, Haftar called on his fighters to abide by international humanitarian law norms and to respect private and public properties.

Haftar also addressed militia loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA), saying, “We call on all our men, of the various segments of the society, those who were deceived by the traitors and took arms against the national army, we call on them to remain at home, to be on the right way, to protect their life and future, to have mercy on their families by ensuring safety and security.”

The LNA, which controls much of Libya’s east and parts of the south, first launched an offensive to gain control of Tripoli from the UN-backed GNA in April, which eventually settled into a stalemate.

The latest move followed Turkey’s recent backing of the GNA. Ankara has offered to send troops to Libya to shore up a regional ally and win support for its maritime borders in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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