Mon, 06 Jul 2020

Cairo [Egypt], June 4 (Sputnik/ANI): The forces of Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) have regained complete control of Tripoli International Airport from the Libyan National Army (LNA), the GNA's military spokesperson Mohammed Kanunu said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Kanunu announced that an offensive had been launched by the GNA's troops to recapture the airport, located 21 miles from the Libyan capital.

"The airport has been completely liberated. Our heroic forces are pursuing the remnants of [Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa] Haftar's militants in the direction of Qasr bin Ghashir," the GNA military spokesperson said in a statement.

The LNA previously used the airport, which has been closed to passenger air travel since 2014, as a base to launch airborne operations during the ongoing conflict.

In recent years, the Mitiga military airfield has served as the capital's only functioning civil aviation hub.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for a rapid ceasefire in Libya amid an escalation of violence in the country. The head of the GNA Fayez Sarraj is set to conduct an official visit to Turkey, the government's primary ally, on Thursday.

Despite the attempts of the international community to reach a peace deal in Libya, fighting between the GNA and LNA continues. The LNA controls vast swathes of southern and eastern Libya and the GNA maintains authority over pockets of territory in the western part of the country, including the capital of Tripoli. (Sputnik/ANI)

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