GNA’s Qanunu says Tarhouna Military Operation Will Take Longer After Failure to Take Tarhouna – Al Marsad

Military spokesperson of the militants of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Muhammad Qanunu, confirmed that the military operation in Tarhunah is ongoing and the reports on withdrawal are untrue.

[Libya, 20 April 2020] – In statements to the Qatari Arabi 21 website, Qanunu indicated that the aim of controlling Tarhouna is to complete the goals of their new military Operation Peace Storm (the joint offensive between the GNA and Turkish militants) and to put an end to the “coup project” (the Libyan armed forces’ advance to the capital) led by the “axis of evil”, as he claimed.

Regarding the latest outcome of their battle two days after their failed attempt to invade Tarhouna, he said: “So far, we have controlled large parts of the outskirts of Tarhouna towards the heart of the city. This forced Haftar’s militias and supporters to withdraw from the advanced fighting axes at the outskirts of Tripoli, which facilitated the advance of our forces therein. The enemy has also incurred heavy losses in material and we captured several wanted persons and those who fought against our forces and killed others. We had one martyr.”

However, Qanunu did not mention the civilians arrested in their homes and businesses in the Friday market area of ​​Tarhouna city.

In his response to the reports on the withdrawal of their militants, he said: “This is not true. The operation is continuing and may take long, but it will not stop. If high command orders otherwise, we will announce it officially, but we are advancing as planned. We focus on the camps and military positions to spare the residential areas any destruction. We are now at advanced positions,” claimed the military spokesman of the GNA militants.

He also pointed out that they would target the ammunition warehouses and defenses of the “enemy” (the Libyan Armed Forces) and its positions by the “air force” (the Turkish drones) and artillery. The intrusion will take place at the right time, as he put it.

Regarding the position of the Libyan Armed, he said: “We expect, of course, that the militias stationed at Tarhouna would fight fiercely and that there would be external attempts to rescue them from the capitals of aggression. We have prepared for all this. We aim to put an end to the injustice inflicted on the people of this city, allow the displaced to return to their homes, arrest those wanted for justice, and cut the only supply line for the militias at the outskirts of Tripoli, which have not stopped targeting its neighborhoods, institutions, hospitals, and historical landmarks with indiscriminate rockets and heavy artillery.”

He concluded by claiming that their militants have already completed the first stage of the plan and that they are now 10 km away from the heart of Tarhouna. He alleged that they have seized many weapons, ammunition, and materiel and arrested several of those wanted for justice (civilians arrested due to their own identity the moment the GNA militants advanced) vowing that the operation would continue until it achieves its goals.

© Al Marsad English (2020)