What Happened: The Gharyan Protection Force, a militia that backs the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), on June 26 reportedly took control of the town of Gharyan south of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the BBC reported June 27. The Libyan National Army (LNA) has not said whether it has withdrawn from the town.
Why It Matters: The loss of Gharyan will significantly impact the battle for Tripoli. Gharyan, about 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) south of Tripoli, has been the main conduit for LNA supplies destined for its front line soldiers. The LNA has little in the way of an alternative for resupply. The loss of Gharyan is another sign that LNA Field Marshall Khalifa Hifter's Tripoli offensive may have been unwise, with Hifter failing to take into account how unified Tripoli and Misratan forces would be against him.
Background: While Hifter may be willing to agree to a cease-fire in Tripoli, so far each side has ruled one out. Hifter launched his offensive on Tripoli in April. Initially, he rapidly took territory on its southern outskirts, including Gharyan, but has struggled to make progress ever since.
- What a Fight for Tripoli Could Mean for Libya's Future (April 8, 2019)
- The Man at the Center of Libya's Armed Conflict (Sept. 16, 2019)