The Libyan Army carried out three air operations targeting the forces of the putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, Lt. Col. Muhammad Kununu, the spokesman for the government's armed forces, said Monday, as he noted that the operations targeting Haftar's forces at the Al-Watiyya airbase continue to proceed.
The army also advanced against Haftar's militias around the Hamza military camp, south of the capital Tripoli late Sunday, according to a statement by the press center of the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord's (GNA) Operation Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage).
The statement said five armed and armored vehicles belonging to Haftar's militia were destroyed.
The strikes hit an ammunition depot inside the Haftar airbase, killing two fighters and injuring five others, the media office of Operation Volcano Rage said, noting that they aimed to cut off Haftar’s supply lines.
Five Janjaweed mercenaries were killed in several vehicles destroyed in the operation, while a bus carrying militants headed to south Tripoli was also destroyed with all fighters inside, the media office added.
Later in the day, the Libyan military conducted strikes on seven oil tankers belonging to militias loyal to Haftar.
The tankers were hit in an airstrike in the Al Qaryat region, 400 kilometers (248 miles) south of the capital Tripoli, according to a statement by the press center of the Libyan Army-led Operation Rage of Volcano.
The tankers were en route to the strategic city of Tarhuna, in an attempt to reach Haftar's militia.
Tarhuna is a major focal point for Haftar's forces in their onslaught against Tripoli, as well as for their supply lines to the Al-Jufra airbase.
The Libyan Army recently made gains against Haftar's militias, which are supported by France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Following the ouster of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya's government was founded in 2015 under a U.N-led political deal. Since April 2019, the government has been under attack by Haftar's forces, based in eastern Libya, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.
The Libyan Air Force also targeted the transport of Haftar-affiliated Janjaweed militia who were preparing to attack.
The Libyan Army killed five Sudanese Janjaweed militants, the country's military announced Sunday.
The army carried out an airstrike on the Nesme region, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of the capital Tripoli, said a press statement for the Libyan Army-led Operation Rage of Volcano.
In addition to the killing of the Sudanese militants, three armed vehicles were also destroyed, it added.
In a report published Saturday, Anadolu Agency (AA) documented the presence of mercenaries in Libya from neighboring Sudan fighting for Haftar.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Haftar militias placed mines at houses in southern Tripoli while retreating from the region.
"Terrorist Haftar militia placed mines in houses in the region before fleeing after being fired on by us from southern Tripoli," a statement from the Operation Volcano of Rage center said Sunday. The statement said the office of explosive goods of the country has found 5 tons of war residuals in the form of missiles and rockets in the region over the past year, all of which have been destroyed.
The GNA took control of the two fronts early Friday in the south of the capital Tripoli. "Our forces made progress on the Mashru and Hallatat fronts and took a large area under control," Mustafa al-Majai, spokesman for the Volcano of Rage operation, told AA, adding that the areas had been out of their control for three months. He said they had also taken the Hamza camp in the south of Tripoli.
Following the advancements, the regions taken by the GNA gradually started to declare support for the U.N.-recognized government. The military council of the city of Murzuq announced Saturday its support for the GNA.
The military council of Murzuq, located 953 kilometers south of the capital Tripoli, released a statement via a video message on Saturday night.
The nine-article statement "rejected any coup attempt against the legitimacy represented by the Libyan government and voiced support for the Libyan government."
The people of southwestern Sabha, on the other side, in a joint statement declared their withdrawal of support for warlord Haftar and announced their support of the legitimate government late Thursday.
Libyan government troops have been under attack by Haftar's militias since last April, and international efforts to enforce a cease-fire have proven unsuccessful. The aggression has intensified in the last few months as forces loyal to Haftar have killed civilians almost daily. They have also not refrained from attacking Tripoli’s hospitals, vital for the Libyan people fighting the coronavirus outbreak. The U.N. has urged Haftar’s forces several times to halt assaults on hospitals at a time when they are most needed, yet the calls have largely been ignored. The U.N. condemned the attacks as a “clear violation of international law.”
The latest attack of Haftar's forces took place on Sunday when civilians in eastern Tripoli were targeted. Following the attack, Demirören News Agency (DHA) reported that two people from the same family were killed in a neighborhood close to Mitiga International Airport.
Despite declaring a cease-fire, just days later, Haftar's forces attacked civilian settlements south of Tripoli on May 1. After unilaterally declaring himself ruler of Libya on April 27, Haftar announced a cease-fire for the rest of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a few days later. The announcement came after the military balance had started to shift this month toward the advantage of the GNA, as the Tripoli government recaptured the country’s western coastline. Haftar and his supporters caused the failure of past cease-fire attempts, which have destroyed trust on the ground and have used the global coronavirus pandemic to escalate their Tripoli siege.