Libya’s Interior Minister: GNA forces will start “offensive instead of defensive” tactics against Haftar’s forces

Fathi Bashagha – Libya’s Interior Minister. [Photo: Social Media]
The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) said it would soon try to push back the putschist Khalifa Haftar’s eastern forces which have been attacking the capital Tripoli for months, according to the Interior Minister.

Fathi Bashagha said in an interview with Reuters that GNA and its forces do not want to see Tripoli subjected to shelling every day, adding that the Libyan government would push Haftar’s forces away from Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Friday saw military escalation that was the most violent since the announcement of a ceasefire on January 12, as Bashagha said the GNA believed that Haftar had launched a new assault.

“More than 60 missiles dropped on Mitiga on Friday and 60 others dropped on Tripoli on Saturday, so now Haftar begins his attack,” Bashagha said, adding that GNA’s defense will also move to attack because there is no hope for the ceasefire.

When asked if the GNA would begin a military offensive in the coming days, Bashagha said “definitely”.

Bashagha also called on the U.S. and Britain to put pressure on countries supporting Haftar, saying Libya will face a major humanitarian crisis if the international community does not intervene.

In a statement earlier this week, GNA’s Health Ministry said 21 civilians were killed, including women and children, and 31 injured in attacks by Haftar’s militias from January 9 to February 20.

The internationally recognized GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 lives lost in the violence and more than 300,000 civilians displaced.

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