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Libyan government reconciliation forces thwart Haftar attempt to recapture Gharyan

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Libyan government forces on Monday foiled an offensive by forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a strongman in eastern Libya, to retake the town of Gharyan, 100 kilometers southwest of the capital Tripoli.

At the end of June, the Wefaq government was able to recapture the town of Gharyan, which was being used by Haftar forces as a base for major operations in western Libya.

“Groups of Haftar militia infiltrated some areas of Gharyan suburbs and tried to advance, backed by air cover of drones, to control the city,” Mustafa al-Majai, spokesman for the government forces, told AFP.

“Our forces were able, according to organized military operations and with air support from the air force, to repel the attack and failed,” he said, noting “pursuing fugitive remnants to some of the surrounding areas.”

As for the losses caused by the clashes, he said, “We lost eight members of our units in addition to ten wounded,” pointing out that dozens were killed or wounded in the ranks of Haftar forces.

“All military operations were carried out in accordance with a tight plan that carried out its early stages,” said Haftar “Media for War” division in a statement on Facebook.

It acknowledged the losses in its ranks without revealing the size and stressed that “military intelligence is hunting every participant in the massacre of Gharyan, which killed a number of members of the armed forces and a number of citizens safe in the city.”

It is the first attempt by Haftar forces to reclaim the strategic city, which is the largest in the western mountain in terms of population and area, and a vital crossing for its population of more than half a million people on their way to the capital Tripoli.

Since April 4, Haftar forces have been pursuing an offensive to take control of Tripoli, where the UN-recognized Accord government is based.

The fighting, which entered its fifth month, killed about 1093 people and wounded 5762, including civilians, while the number of displaced people approached 120 thousand people, according to UN agencies.

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