Libyan army vows to take over capital despite Turkish support to UN-backed gov't

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-01 22:20:50|Editor: Wu Qin
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TRIPOLI, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A senior commander of the east-based Libyan army confirmed on Monday that the army will take over the capital Tripoli despite Turkey's support to the UN-backed government.

"We will enter Tripoli and free it. Our forces are still progressing despite the Turkish support to (UN-backed Prime Minister) Fayez Serraj's forces," Abdussalam al-Hasi said in a statement.

"We are leading the battle according to the instructions of the commander-in-chief. You all will witness the government forces' indiscriminate shelling and Turkish aircraft that attacked civilians and destroyed their homes," he added.

A day earlier, the army said it destroyed a Turkish-made drone in Tripoli's airport, causing suspension of flights.

Khalifa Haftar, the army commander, issued orders to target Turkish vessels in Libyan waters and cancel all flights between Libya and Turkey, accusing Ankara of providing military support for the government forces and helping them take over the city of Gharyan last week from the army.

The army has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over Tripoli from the UN-backed government.

According to the World Health Organization, the fighting so far has killed 739 people and injured 4,407 others, including civilians.

Also, tens of thousands of civilians fled their homes from the armed conflict.

Libya has been suffering escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.