Libyan forces ride a military vehicle as they prepare for next advance against Islamic State holdouts in Sirte, Libya August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

The Libyan National Army led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar declared a ceasefire in western Libya starting midnight local time on January 12, the LNA spokesman said.

“The main command of the LNA announces a ceasefire from 00.00 local time [22:00 GMT] on January 12 in the west of the country, the other side [Government of National Accord (GNA)] must also adhere to this truce. In case of violation, there will be a harsh response,” LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed on a common stance on Libya and Syria, calling for a comprehensive ceasefire starting midnight January 12. They also urged all conflict parties to begin negotiations.

Libya’s east is controlled by the LNA, while the GNA has been operating in the western part of the country. The situation escalated over the past few months as the LNA launched a new offensive on GNA-held Tripoli.

On 4 April, Haftar’s troops began an assault to take control of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, from the GNA. In December, Haftar called for a final decisive step to break the GNA’s resolve, although no progress has been reported so far and troops loyal to the LNA and GNA are locked in a stalemate. Each side continues to maintain its position, while exchanging mortar fire and air strikes. The GNA has formally requested military assistance from Turkey.

On January 6, the LNA declared full control over the strategic coastal town of Sirte.

Later, Haftar welcomed the ceasefire initiative by Russia and Turkey, but stressed that LNA would continue the fight for Tripoli.

ALSO READ  Joint Russian-Syrian attack devastates jihadist defenses in Aleppo

 

Source: Sputnik

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