Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Gen. Khalifa Hifter took to the airwaves in Libya on Wednesday evening to claim total victory in the city of Benghazi, after years of fighting entrenched local Islamist forces that object to outside rule over the major city.
As is so often the case lately, the public declaration of victory appears to have been dramatically premature, with at least 12 people killed in the fighting and dozens wounded since, and no sign that the locals are simply giving up in the face of the invasion.
LNA officials say that the battle is still nearly over, however, with the resistance confined to a single district and a handful of streets. This, of course, is not the first time in the last three years they’ve claimed victory in the city, and then been mostly repelled and re-invaded.
Gen. Hifter and the LNA are loyal to the Tobruk Parliament, which is one of three would-be governments in Libya, and the only one in the country’s east. They are the UN-recognized parliament of Libya, though not the UN-recognized government of Libya.