By Gulsen Topcu
TRIPOLI (AA) – Forces belonging to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said Monday they had seized control of a large part of Tripoli International Airport.
The development follows clashes with forces loyal to eastern Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar, Mustafa al-Mecei, the spokesman for the military operation, told Anadolu Agency.
After securing the capital, Tripoli, GNA forces would move towards the points where Haftar's forces were spotted in Libya's western region, Mecei said.
Haftar’s forces claimed earlier this month to have taken full control of Tripoli International Airport.
Since early April, Haftar has been launching a campaign to capture Tripoli, where the GNA is headquartered.
At least 254 people have been killed and hundreds injured in recent clashes on the outskirts of Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.