Haftar announced in a television broadcast on Thursday, that a “decisive battle” to capture the capital, Tripoli, will commence imminently, eight months after he launched his offensive to wrest it from the internationally recognised government, Al Jazeera reports.
Haftar said “Zero hour has come for the broader and total assault expected by every free and honest Libyan”.
“Today, we announce the decisive battle and the advancement towards the heart of the capital to set it free… advance now our heroes” said Haftar.
Al Jazeera reports that the GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha on al-Ahrar television said “We are ready to push back any more mad attempt by the Haftar putsch leader”.
The LNA’s press service said Haftar’s forces had seized a military academy in the Salah al-Din district in the southern suburbs of Tripoli.
The GNA reportedly said it was controlling the situation despite Haftar’s offensive.
General Khalifa Haftar is a former Gathafi loyalist turned CIA-backed enemy who in the past year became Libya’s most prominent “rogue general” and is now head of the Libyan national army.
Haftar is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and most recently Russian mercenaries, according to diplomats and Tripoli officials. The LNA denies it has foreign backing.
SUSA Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world.