Libya: Clashes Between LNA and GNA Enter 8th Month

North Africa

Clashes in and around the Libyan capital city Tripoli are continuing between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Almost seven months have passed since the leader of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar, launched his military operation on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, leading to a prolonged military conflict that has continued unabated until today.

Air strikes have been raining down on the city and its outskirts for months, while clashes on the ground have also persisted between the LNA and the forces affiliated with the GNA, which is based in Tripoli. Truces and ceasefires have been agree upon throughout this period, however they have been broken time and time again, as the LNA has attempted to advance in its push for the Libyan capital.

The LNA is generally seen to be the military wing of the Tobruk-based government, called the House of Representative (HoR) in the east of the country, in opposition to the GNA in Tripoli, in the west. Nevertheless, the LNA offensive on Tripoli has not been met with a unanimous consensus from HoR. Soon after the offensive was launched, a number of MPs from the HoR opposed the military operation and met with delegates from the GNA to condemn it. This has nevertheless not halted the LNA in its tracks.

Both sides have been recording gains and losses throughout, leading to what is generally regarded as a stalemate situation. However, in the midst of this situation, civilian casualties have been rising consistently.

The roles of external forces in the Libyan conflict have exacerbated the dynamics of the conflict. Accusations of foreign influence have been directed at both sides, who are both known to receive support from abroad. Qatar and Turkey are known to provide political and financial support to elements linked to the GNA as well as a number of Islamist groupings, while the UAE and Egypt have provided various forms of support to the LNA and has played an active military role militarily.