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Eastern Libya forces retake key town from Tripoli-allied militias – spokesman

Eastern Libya forces retake key town from Tripoli-allied militias – spokesman

Libya’s eastern-based forces have reportedly retaken a key town from militias allied with the UN-supported government. Ahmed al-Mesmari, a spokesman for commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), said they recaptured on Sunday the town of al-Asabaa, about 50 kilometers south of the capital Tripoli, AP reports. The move followed airstrikes on the militias in the area.

The eastern-based forces have been trying to take the capital from the weak but UN-supported government since last spring. Increasing Turkish support for the Tripoli-based government has led to a series of defeats for Haftar in recent weeks, after months of stalemate.

Al-Asabaa is located on a key road that links LNA forces to the town of Tarhuna, their main western stronghold and supply line southeast of the capital. The LNA said they shot down a Turkish drone before targeting forces in al-Asabaa.

The spokesman added that their troops were chasing Tripoli-allied forces fleeing to their stronghold in the nearby town of Gharyan.