TRIPOLI 

The Libyan army launched an offensive on Wednesday to capture the city of Tarhuna, south of Tripoli, from militias of eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar, according to a military spokesman.

“The army started the offensive on Tarhuna from three axes,” Mustafa al-Mujie, a spokesman for the government-led Operation Volcano of Rage, told Anadolu Agency.

He said clashes were still raging on in the area.

Tarhuna is a major focal point for supply lines for Haftar’s militias from Al-Jufra Airbase.

Libya’s internationally recognized government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019.

In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm to counter attacks on the capital, and recently regained strategic locations, including the Al-Watiya airbase, in a major blow to Haftar’s forces.

On Tuesday, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said Haftar has agreed to the resumption of ceasefire talks.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by Haftar’s forces.

*Bassel Ibrahim contributed to this report from Ankara

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