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Libya’s GNA takes strategic airbase from Haftar’s forces amid heavy clashes

Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord on Wednesday launched a new military push against the forces of Khalifa Haftar, who has been for the last two days ramping up attacks on civilians in the capital. 

The Operation “Peace Storm” of the Government of National Accord (GNA) targeted Haftar’s forces south of Tripoli, the capital, said the GNA press office.

The operation was launched in response to Haftar’s militias repeated violations of the cease-fire and attacks on civilians in Tripoli, it added.

Haftar’s forces on Tuesday attacked a hospital in Ain Zara province, wounding three healthcare providers. In the last two days, rocket attacks by Haftar militias claimed the lives of six civilians.

Osama al-Juwaili, the commander of Operation Peace Storm, also said they had seized the Libyan National Military airbase and also captured some militia elements.

GNA troops have completely seized Al-Watiya military airbase located in southwest of the capital Tripoli, Al-Juwaili said in a statement later in the day.

Al-Watiya, which is considered the most strategic military airbase in the country after Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, was captured by the Haftar militias in August 2014.

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