Libya: Battle for Tarhouna in the Horizon

This follows the expiration of an ultimatum issued by forces loyal to UN backed Fayez el-Sarrej.

Several hours after the expiration of an ultimatum issued by the Government of National Accord (GNA), for the Libyan National Army (LNA), to withdraw from the City of Tarhouna, 90 km South East of Tripoli, all is now set for the great assault. Tarhouna has been barricaded for several weeks by GNA forces headed by Fayez el- Sarrej. After two previous failed attempts by the GNA to capture the city, the United Nations backed forces are now set for another battle, "Driving the forces of General Khalifa Haftar out of the town of Tarhouna, South East of the capital, could end Libya's civil war, Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha told Reuters on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 by phone. But this would be "the most difficult military option" at this moment. Tarhouna, surrounded by hills, has been the LNA's main strategic centre in the west, providing local manpower for a campaign that has leaned heavily on air support supplied by the United Arab Emirates and Russian military contractors. Since Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the various front lines have been ablaze in Tripoli, as if to announce the temperature for the coming days. After more than 6 hours of fighting, the Libyan National Army claims to have succeeded in stopping the attacks carried out by the GNA in the area of Ain Zara, as well as that of the airport. According to her, 31 militiamen were killed, including two leaders. For their part, the GNA forces announced that they had destroyed several military vehicles and captured 15 LNA combatants. At the same time, the two sides received tons of weapons and ammunition from their foreign partners. According to the GNA information service, 15 Russian planes carrying military equipment landed at Bani Walid airport. Nearly 1,500 Russian and Syrian mercenaries have also withdrawn from Tripoli to this airport, from where the majority were later airborne to the military base of Al- Joufra in South Libya. On the LNA side it is reported that at least 8 Turkish military aircraft also transported military equipment to Misrata Airport. According to experts, everything suggests that the two rival parties are preparing for a great battle. Faced with the GNA's ultimatum, the ANL promises surprises. Both sides have now transgressed the red lines. Nohing is excluded, including an attack on the city of Misrata .

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