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GNA Calls on International Community to Lift the Arms Embargo

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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On Thursday, Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) called on the international community to provide it with arms without delay after the death of over 30 Libyan troops in a battle against ISIS militants near Sirte.    

The unity government urged the international community to “shoulder its responsibilities and accelerate fulfilling its promises to help lift the arms embargo for Libya,” said a statement on the unity government’s Facebook page.

The call by the GNA came hours after 32 of its soldiers were killed, including seven in a car bomb, and 50 wounded as Libyan soldiers moved toward ISIS stronghold Sirte on Wednesday.

The Libyan army has named its military operations against ISIS in the region between Misrata and Sirte “Albinyan Almarsos” or Operation Strong Foundation. The GNA established the operation room against ISIS after its militants overran the Abu Grein checkpoint, one of the main crossroads south of the city of misrata, on May 5.

The extremist group took responsibility for Wednesday’s car bombing, which killed seven soldiers in Buairat el-Hassun, 60 kilometres west of Sirte.  

On Monday during a meeting between over 20 nations about Libya, the international community announced their support of the GNA and agreed to partially lift the arms embargo placed on Libya after the 2011 ousting of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in order to assist in their fight against ISIS.  

“We have a major challenge facing us in fighting (ISIS),” Serraj told reporters after the Vienna meeting, “we hope for assistance on training and equipping our troops.”

Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Musa al-Kony stated that aircraft, including warplanes and helicopters, were the GNA’s top priority to aid in its military operations against ISIS.

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