Libyan pro-government forces walk next to their vehicle mounted with a machine gun on May 18, 2016 in Abu Grein, south of Libya's third city Misrata, a day after Libya's unity government recaptured the area from the Islamic State (IS) group. four of the Bodies of The organization of the Islamic State (Daash) in a truck in Abu Qurayn About 300 km east of the Libyan capital Tripoli , on May 18, 2016. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces said on Facebook that they recaptured Abu Grein strategic crossroads, where the coastal highway meets the main road south into the desert interior on May 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:45 P.M.) – The Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces launched a new offensive in western Tripoli on Monday, targeting the key city of Surman.

According to reports from northwestern Libya, the GNA forces began the offensive on Monday by storming the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) positions east of Surman, prompting a fierce firefight to breakout between the two rival parties.

Some early reports say the GNA has entered Surman and has captured some neighborhoods; however, other reports claim that the fighting is still at the eastern outskirts of the city.

The GNA is attempting to reclaim several areas in northwestern Libya after losing them during the Libyan National Army’s large-scale offensive at the end of the year.

Surman is incredibly important to the GNA forces because of it proximity to both Tripoli, Libya’s capital, and the Tunisian border.

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