Libya: Libyan general Khalifa Haftar forces seize key city of Sirte
Libyan forces loyal to the eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said they had taken control of the strategic coastal city of Sirte in a rapid advance preceded by airstrikes.
Holding Sirte would be an important gain for Haftar, who since April has been waging a military offensive on the capital, Tripoli, home to Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
Sirte lies in the centre of Libya’s Mediterranean coast and has been controlled by GNA-aligned forces since they ejected Islamic State from the city with the help of US airstrikes in late 2016.
Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Monday it had taken areas surrounding Sirte including al-Qardabiya airbase, before moving towards the city centre.