Libyan General Hafter Announces Much of Sirte Captured

Spokesman says all outer districts of the city have fallen

The forces of Gen. Khalifa Hafter, leader of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), are claiming massive gains in the vital coastal Libyan city of Sirte, saying they’ve taken all districts on the outskirts of the city, and the al-Qardabiya airbase.

Hafter’s spokesman Khaled al-Mahjoub says that the LNA fighters are moving toward the center of Sirte. The rival Government of National Accord (GNA) denied this, saying the situation in central Sirte remains under control.

Sirte is an important central coastal city, connecting the LNA-controlled east to the remaining GNA forces in the west. If Sirte falls, Hafter’s forces are likely to move on to Misrata, a major city supportive of the GNA.

As the LNA continues to make gains, Turkey is deploying military advisers to Libya to help the GNA. Turkey also plans to send troops and establish a military base, though when that will happen is unclear.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.