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Libya’s internationally-recognized government says it has captured the strategic Al-Watiya airbase from fighters loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar. The announcement by the administration of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj came after a month-long counteroffensive that has seen forces allied to it drive Haftar’s troops out of much of Libya’s western coast. Haftar launched an offensive in April 2019 to seize control of Tripoli, resulting in a stalemated conflict that has killed more than 1,000 people.

Analysts say the GNA’s capture of al-Watiya, located some 25km (16 miles) from the Tunisia border, will allow its forces to fully focus on repelling Haftar’s fighters in southern Tripoli.

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