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12 Dec 2019 | 04:20 PM UTC

Libya: LNA offensive possible as Haftar commands forces to advance into Tripoli December 12

Libyan National Army (LNA) offensive possible as Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar commands forces to advance into central Tripoli December 12; intensive aerial and indirect fire to be expected over the coming hours

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Event

Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar commanded LNA forces to advance into central Tripoli in a live-televised address on Thursday, December 12. Though Haftar's forces have made similar pronouncements since launching a now-stalled offensive to conquer Tripoli in April, Haftar's direct language in the address is unprecedented and may signal an imminent, concerted push to take the capital.

Intensive LNA aerial and indirect fire are to be expected across existing frontlines in south-central Tripoli over the coming hours. Increased security measures and resulting transportation disruptions are also to be expected in the capital, including unannounced route closures.

Context

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 Tripoli 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.