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06 Jan 2020 | 01:04 PM UTC

Libya: LNA takes control of Sirte January 6

Libyan National Army (LNA) forces take control of Sirte January 6; clashes between opposing forces possible over coming hours and days

security
LBY

Event

Libyan National Army (LNA) forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar have reportedly taken control of the coastal city of Sirte as of Monday, January 6. Government of National Accord (GNA) forces have reportedly retreated from the city, and LNA forces are in control of the city's port and al-Qardabiya air base.

A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions, including unannounced road closures, are to be expected in Sirte over the coming hours and days. Clashes between opposing forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

Sirte has been under the control of Government of National Accord (GNA)-aligned forces since late 2016, when they pushed the Islamic State (IS) out of the city. The LNA launched an offensive into southern Tripoli on April 4. The advance halted 10-15 km (6-9 mi) south of central Tripoli within a week and frontlines have remained largely static since. Some have moved south, out of the city. The initial offensive also triggered several foreign missions and international organizations to temporarily withdraw or to otherwise consider their international footprint in Libya. Central Tripoli itself remains permissive and conducive to most international operations, provided professional security providers are engaged.

Advice

Individuals in Sirte are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid areas affected by fighting, and refrain from nonessential movement within the city.

The security environment in Libya remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.