İrem UZUN -TDO- Libya's internationally recognized government said its troops have seized control of two strategic coastal cities located between the capital, Tripoli, and the Tunisian border after expelling forces loyal to eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. "Our forces took control of Surman and Sabratha and are pursuing," Mohammed Gnunu, spokesperson of the Government of National Accord (GNA), said in a statement on Monday.
Surman and Sabratha's recapture is very vital for GNA as they have been a major location for Haftar's operations room to plan an attack on Al-Zawiya and Zuwara cities - an attack that has been under consideration and planning for a year. Surman took only a few hours to be under the control of GNA forces as Haftar's forces ran away toward Sabratha, to which GNA immediately headed and after a few more hours, the second city fell to the Libyan Army forces, sources reported. "All Haftar's defenses in Sabratha didn't last more than some two or three hours and then they got defeated. Some 30 fighters of them surrendered as they watched their comrades flee the city," sources from Libyan Army forces explained.
On their Facebook page, GNA forces published images of Grad rocket launchers, 10 tanks and armored vehicles they said they had captured in the cities, which had been controlled by militias allied with Haftar.