Libya: New failed attack by GNA and Turkey against Al-Watiya airbase

Man in mask with gun

In Libya, violent fighting unceasing continues after the Tripoli-based government, supported by Turkey and Qatar, recently refused the request for a truce from the international community and welcomed by the Libyan National Army (LNA), to fight the new coronovirus pandemic (COVID – 19).

On Tuesday, the LNA under the command of General Khalifa Haftar rejected an attempt by the Government of National Accord (GNA) affiliated militias to attack Uqba Bin Nafaa airbase better known as al-Watiya, in western Libya, near the Tunisian border. According to local media, the offensive has caused countless casualties for the GNA, with dozens of militiamen and terrorists killed or captured by Haftar’s troops.

The heavy defeat led to a greater use of drones by foreign countries supporting the GNA, including Turkey. Western forces spokesman Muhammad Qanunu confirmed the GNA and its allies conducted 24 airstrikes on the airbase since Tuesday morning, while the LNA targeted with success the main militias’ operations room in the city of Zuwara, west of the capital Tripoli.

According to a statement from the Bengasi-based army general command, LNA warplanes carried out airstrikes on several sites of GNA-affiliated forces for the second consecutive day, after hitting them in Sormon. The comment also indicated that the LNA units carried a qualitative operation in the Al Zatarna axis, which led to the arrest of 5 elements of the Islamist coalition backed by Turkey.

Military sources inside the camp confirmed to have captured over 15 terrorists, 9 km from al-Watiya. Those are now in arrest inside the base, as LNA realized their dream of entering it. Reports circulating on social networks show dozens of GNA fighters killed during the conflicts in the area.

Among them, there are Amjad al-Ahmar, Marwan al-Zarrouk, the commanders Hisham al-Basheeni and Bassam Muhammad. LNA troops also killed the dangerous mafia men of Zawiya, Firas al-Wahshi, already fired by the Ministry of the Interior and wanted by the Libyan General Prosecutor for various charges, including terrorism.

On the other side, the Libyan National Army mourns the killing of Major Osama Al-Zantani, commander of the Al-Watiyah airbase, which since 2014, has played a central role in fighting terrorism and illegal immigration in the western region towards the border with Tunisia.

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