26 June – 2 July: GNA aligned forces capture town of Gharyan

Jul 2, 2019 | Libyan actors

On 26 June, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli announced that forces aligned with it had taken control of the town of Gharyan, situated around 90km south of Tripoli on the edge of the Nafusa mountains. The Libyan National Army’s (LNA) spokesperson, Ahmed al-Mismari, stated that the LNA lost 43 soldiers in the battle. LNA forces seized Gharyan in the weeks leading up to their offensive on Tripoli in early April. The city served as their main forward base for the Tripoli offensive ever since. The GNA statement claimed that the LNA’s Western Operations Room had fled the town and that it had been fully “liberated.” On 27 June, the LNA launched drone strikes against the town but more anti-LNA forces have been mobilised in order to consolidate control and thwart counter attacks.

On 1 July, the commander of the LNA’s air forces, Mohamed Manfour, stated that they would start a campaign of heavy air strikes on Tripoli, calling for civilians to keep a distance from militia/military sites. Manfour stated that the operation, dubbed the “Consequence of Treachery” was in response to having exhausted traditional warfare tactics. On 30 June, the head of the eastern-based House of Representatives, Aqeela Saleh, declared a “general mobilisation” after the LNA claimed to have destroyed a Turkish drone located in Tripoli’s Mitiga airport in what they dubbed as efforts to reprimand Turkey for supporting the GNA.