BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 A.M.) – The Libyan National Army (LNA) suffered a major setback on Wednesday, when their troops withdrew from the Tripoli International Airport outside of the capital city.
According to reports from the Tripoli front, the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces were able to take control of the international airport after a short battle on Wednesday.
At the same time this attack was launched, the Government of National Accord was also storming the area around the strategic city of Tarhouna, which is located southeast of Tripoli.
However, with the quick fall of the Tripoli Airport, the Government of National Accord forces will now shift their attention to the Tarhouna front, which, if lost by the Libyan National Army, will be a major blow to Benghazi’s northwestern Libya front.
The Libyan National Army appears to have prepared for this showdown, as they moved reinforcements to Tarhouna from nearby areas and from the eastern part of the country.
Over the last two months, the Libyan National Army’s campaign in northwestern Libya has taken a major hit, especially since the Turkish military stepped up their support to the Government of National Accord.
Making matters worse for the Libyan National Army, they have several troops besieged southwest of Tripoli, as the Government of National Accord’s control of Gharyan has left the LNA cutoff from their forces along the Tunisian border.
In the coming days, the battle of Tarhouna will reveal a lot about the Libyan Army’s future around Tripoli; if they are able to break the siege in the west and hold onto Tarhouna, they may be able to regroup and regain the initiative around the capital city.