On Wednesday, the spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA), Ahmed Al-Mismari, claimed that their full control over Tripoli was imminent.
In a press conference, Al-Mismari said that LNA forces had managed to successfully stave off attacks by forces aligned to the Government of National Accord (GNA) against Al-Watiya Airbase, one of the LNA’s strongholds in western Libya.
Al-Mismari confirmed that 8 LNA soldiers had been killed during the battle for Al-Watiya, adding that the GNA had suffered dozens of casualties and scores of injured.
“[The GNA] was completely defeated and our forces prevented them from advancing towards the Aqriba area,” said Major Osama Amsek, the Commander of the 134th Battalion currently in charge of Al-Watiya Airbase.
This comes just days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced that forces loyal to the GNA were making significant territorial advances in western Libya.
Almost 7,850 foreign fighters are reported to be in Libya fighting on behalf of Turkey for the Tripoli-based GNA, with a further 3,000 undergoing training in Turkey.
Last month, GNA forces launched an attack on the city of Tarhuna, a major stronghold for the LNA in western Libya. However, despite being backed by Turkish drones and heavy artillery, the attack did not manage to dislodge the LNA from its positions.