TRIPOLI 

The Libyan Army carried out 12 air operations against militias loyal to Libyan renegade commander Khalifa Haftar in the past 24 hours, military sources said late Thursday. 

Muhammed Kununu, the military spokesman for the government, said in a statement that the army carried out nine air operations against Al-Watiya airbase, located southwest of the capital Tripoli and controlled by Haftar’s forces.

He added that the operations targeted military vehicles, three tanks and 13 militias, including Mohamed al-Dahir, who is wanted by the Libyan Prosecutor-General’s office in connection with several criminal cases.

Earlier this week, the Libyan army carried out 24 air operations as part of a massive offensive aimed at capturing al-Watiya airbase.

Al-Watiya is regarded as a key airbase in the country and is second only to Mitiga Airport. It was captured in August 2014 by Haftar, the leader of illegal armed forces in eastern Libya, who used it as his headquarters for western operations.

The Libyan government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

As part of Operation Peace Storm, air operations are being periodically carried out against al-Watiya airbase.

Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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