Khalifa Haftar visits Egypt amid losing Tripoli International Airport

While Khalifa Haftar is visiting Egypt, forces loyal to the UN-backed government have scored a series of victories against the Libyan warlord.

Iran PressAfrica: Forces loyal to Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) announced on Wednesday that they had retaken Tripoli International Airport, marking a major blow to general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar.

"Our forces have fully liberated Tripoli International Airport," said Mohamad Gnounou, a spokesman for forces supporting the UN-backed government in the Libyan capital.

The civilian airport has been out of service since it was heavily damaged in 2014. However, it represents a strategic position on the outskirts of the capital as it lies on a key highway leading to central Tripoli.

Gnounou said that the pro-government forces were now chasing Haftar's militias, who are fleeing towards Qasr Ben Gashir, which lies roughly 20 kilometers (13 miles) south of Tripoli.

Over the past month, pro-government forces have claimed a series of victories over Haftar's forces. Last year, Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) had made major inroads near the capital, including capturing the international airport.

Meanwhile, the commander of the so-called Libyan National Army traveled to Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials.

According to the Russian Al-Youm network, the purpose of the visit of Khalifa Haftar is to coordinate and consult on the developments in Libya.

Libya has suffered almost a decade of major political and military upheaval, after the US-led NATO operation in 2011, which ousted long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi, sent the country spiraling into civil war.


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