Libyan Army enters downtown al-Asaba, pushing back Haftar forces

Libyan Army enters downtown al-Asaba, pushing back Haftar forces

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The Libyan Army on Thursday entered downtown al-Asaba after clashes with warlord Khalifa Haftar's militia.

Libya's Al-Ahrar TV channel cited an unnamed military source as saying the army launched an attack on the remnants of Haftar's militias, who had escaped from the al-Watiya air base.

On Wednesday, the Libyan Army said it was making progress toward liberating the town, located 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the capital Tripoli, from Haftar's militia.

Local tribes in al-Asaba announced their support for the United Nations-recognized Libyan government on the same day.

Libya's army on Monday retook the al-Watiya air base, a key facility now back under government control after some six years under the forces of Haftar.

The move came after the Libyan Army destroyed three Russian-made Pantsir-type air defense systems used by Haftar's forces that were also supplied by the United Arab Emirates.

Libya's government has been under attack by Haftar's forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

Following the ouster of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya's government was founded in 2015 under a U.N.-led political deal.

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