12:22 GMT +321 May 2019
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    Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 13, 2019

    Libya's Haftar Army Announces 2nd Stage of Offensive on Tripoli - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Libyan National Army (LNA) head Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced a start of the second stage of the offensive on Tripoli, local media reported, citing LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari.

    The Al-Wasat news outlet reported that, according to Mismari, the second stage of the operation was launched with the use of infantry forces after the completion of the first phase.

    The news outlet said that Mismari was speaking on Monday evening at a press conference.

    READ MORE: Mitiga International Airport in Libya's Tripoli Closes Amid Reports of Airstrike

    The political situation in Libya has been in a critical state since 4 April, when Haftar ordered his troops to advance on Tripoli in a bid to drive what he called terrorist forces out of the city.

    In response, armed forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) started a military operation against the LNA.

    Libya descended into chaos in 2011, when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed by rebels backed by NATO air power. The power vacuum prompted competing militias, criminal gangs and terrorist groups including Daesh (ISIS)* to establish control over large areas of the country.

    The largest competing forces formed two separate governments — the eastern Tobruk-based government, supported by Haftar and the LNA, and the western UN-backed GNA, based in Tripoli.

    *Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State), a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries

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    Tags:
    operation, offensive, Muammar Gaddafi, Khalifa Haftar, Tripoli, Libya
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