Turkey’s Anadolu Agency Reveals Military Details of the Tarhouna Offensive Which Ultimately Failed – Al Marsad

The Anadolu Agency, the Turkish state run news agency, published on Saturday the plan of the failed attack by the militants of the Government of National Accord (GNA) to control the city of Tarhouna.

[Libya, 19 April 2020] – The Anadolu Agency stated that the GNA militants had surrounded Tarhouna in a crescent-shape and concentrated on attacking 7 main axes—from the north, east, west, and southwest—while leaving an outlet to the south for what it said would be the “fleeing” of “Haftar’s and Kaniyat militias” to Bani Walid.

The Agency said that the GNA militants would intensify the offensive on the Project and Salah Al-Din axes, south of Tripoli, to force “Haftar’s militias” as they put it (or the Libyan National Army) to choose one of two options: either to withdraw from Tripoli to save Tarhouna or stick to their positions south of the capital and leave Tarhouna to fall into the hands of the GNA militants.

The press release published on the AA official website

The Turkish agency revealed that the 7 axes from which the Operation Peace Storm (a joint operation between the Turkish army and the GNA militants against the Libyan armed forces) would kick off as follows:

1- Zatarna Axis (North of Tarhouna): This axis is east of Tripoli, near the city of Garabulli, also known as Castelverde (50 km east of Tripoli), with a branching small axis called Quway’a. The Anadolu Agency claimed that the GNA militants advanced in this axis towards the northern borders of Tarhouna. It is one of the main axes that has been seeing continuous clashes for months.

2- Garabulli Axis (North of Tarhouna): Also called the Coastal axis, it has battalions from the city of Misrata (200 km east of Tripoli), and is the main axis of the GNA militia attack on Tarhouna. It achieved their most important victories on Saturday, such as expelling the “militias of the 9th Brigade of Haftar” (the Libyan National Army) from southern Garabulli and controlling areas north of Tarhouna, such as Rawajih, Sharidat, Hawatim, Abbanat, and Masabih with the help of the militants coming from Zatarna. The Anadolu Agency claimed the GNA militants had captured dozens of “Kaniyat militants” (members of the 9th Infantry Brigade) and seized several tanks, vehicles, cannons, and ammunition.

3- Msallata  Axis (East of Tarhouna): Also called the Targalat Valley axis, it has battalions from the cities of Zliten and Khums (east of Tripoli) advancing towards the area of Khadraa, the eastern gate of Tarhouna.

4- Gharyan Axis (Southwest of Tarhouna): It starts from the city of Gharyan (100 km south of Tripoli) towards the area of ​​Fam Molga, the western gate of Tarhouna. The Anadolu Agency claimed that the GNA militants have controlled Al-Wif Gate between Tarhouna and ‘Urban (southeast of Gharyan).

5- Tuwaishah axis (West of Tarhouna): One of the main axes south of the capital located to the west of the old Tripoli Airport and controlled by what the Anadolu Agency described as “Haftar’s militias and Kaniyat”. The GNA forces advanced well on this axis and their objective would be to reach Souq Al-Sabt (south of the old airport) to cut the supply line between Sibai’ah (45 km south of Tripoli) and Qaser Bin Ghashir neighborhood (25 km south of Tripoli) adjacent to the airport. If they control Sibai’ah, the road would become open towards Tarhouna and they can coalesce with the GNA forces coming from Gharyan in Fam Molga.

6- Project Axis (South of Tripoli): According to the Turkish state-run news agency, this is the most dangerous axis as for the capital Tripoli because it borders the popular Abu Salim neighborhood, south of the capital. The GNA militants are trying to exploit the attack on Tarhouna to force Kaniyat militias to withdraw from the axis to defend their city. The GNA forces have managed to make some advance in this axis, but it is not decisive so far according to the plan published by the Turks.

7- Salah Al-Din Axis (South of Tripoli): It is parallel to the Project axis south of Tripoli. The GNA militants have made some progress there, but it is one of the main gravity points for Haftar south of Tripoli. Therefore, according to the Anadolu Agency, the GNA forces would focus on pushing the so-called “militias, Russian Wagner mercenaries, and the Sudanese Janjaweed” to retreat away from the densely populated neighborhoods south of Tripoli.

An infographic for the offensive on Tarhunah City published by the Turkish Anadolu News Agency

© Al Marsad English (2020)