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Libya War: Haftar says fight against terrorist organizations that seized Tripoli continues

Rejects Ankara, Moscow's call for ceasefire


BENGHAZI: Eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar late Thursday rejected calls for a cease-fire by Turkey and Russia and announced a continuation of his military operations against a UN-recognized government.

In a statement read by his spokesman Ahmad Al-Mesmari, Haftar claimed that a revival of the political process and the country’s stability could only be assured by the “eradication of terrorist groups” and the dissolution of militia controlling Tripoli.

Haftar’s forces in April launched an offensive against the capital, seat of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin issued their call for a truce on Wednesday in Istanbul.

Turkey supports the GNA while Russia is accused of supporting Haftar.

Haftar “hailed... President Vladimir Putin’s initiative” in his statement Thursday, but stressed that the “efforts of the armed forces in the war against terrorists” would continue.

"We welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin's call for a ceasefire. However, our fight against terrorist organizations that seized Tripoli and received support of some countries will continue until the end," al-Mesmari said on a video posted to social media.

“These groups have seized the capital and received the support of some countries and governments who supply them with military equipment, ammunition... and drones,” he said.

“These countries also send terrorists all over the world to fight (Haftar’s) armed forces,” he added.

Haftar was referring to Turkey, which has recently sent some troops to shore up the GNA, while he also accused Ankara of sending pro-Turkish Syrian fighters to Libya.

General Haftar's forces in April launched an offensive against the capital, seat of the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

More than 1,000 people have been killed since the start of Haftar's military operation and at least 5,000 others wounded, according to a UN report.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi by NATO in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

The country, since the fall of  Gaddafi has become routes for illegal migration to Europe.

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