Libya’s Haftar Suffers Blow as Tripoli Forces Capture Key Base

(Bloomberg) --

Forces loyal to the internationally recognized Libyan government in Tripoli said Monday they had captured a key air base in the western part of the OPEC nation.

The Watiya base, which had been under the control of the Libyan National Army headed by eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar, was seized by fighters backing Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord early Monday, according to a statement on the military group’s Facebook page.

Haftar, who’s backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russian mercenaries, controls the eastern part of the country, including vital oil ports and fields, but has suffered major setbacks in the west over the past few weeks. Sarraj has received military and logistical support from Turkey -- aid that has helped turn the tide of a conflict that has raged for more than a year since Haftar launched an offensive to take the capital, Tripoli.

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