3 July – 9 July: LNA announce ‘second wave’ mobilisation to take Tripoli

Jul 9, 2019 | Libyan actors

Despite the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) loss of Ghariyan in late June, the main frontlines of clashes in Tripoli’s southern suburbs have remained relatively static over the last week. Following the loss of Ghariyan, the LNA has relocated and re-established their command hub and primary supply base for the assault on Tripoli in the town of Tarhouna, located around 60km south-east of the capital.

On 6 July, the LNA announced the mobilisation of the ‘second wave’ of the LNA’s operation to take Tripoli, suggesting it was deploying some of its more experienced forces who have previously participated in its operations in Benghazi and Derna. On 7 July, the LNA conducted additional aerial attacks on Mitiga airport, causing air traffic to be temporarily suspended, and announced a wave of airstrikes against civilian targets with wireless communication towers in Tripoli. On 7 July, conflict is reported to have intensified as GNA-affiliated forces tried to fully take Qasr Ben Ghashir and the area surrounding the Tripoli International Airport from LNA forces. On 8 July, the LNA elevated Major Mahmoud al-Werfalli to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

On 2 July, an airstrike killed at least 53 people and injured 130 more after striking a detention centre in the Tajoura suburb of Tripoli. The GNA holds the LNA responsible for the airstrike, while the LNA claims it was targeting the al-Daman brigade base 400 metres away from the detention centre. On 3 July, the LNA claimed to have destroyed the main drone control room of the GNA-aligned forces located at the Mitiga airport. The incident resulted in the temporary suspension of civilian air traffic at the airport.