June 4 (UPI) -- Forces supporting Libya's United Nations-backed government said Thursday they have driven out the remaining fighters loyal to rebel army commander Khalifa Haftar from Tripoli, a major victory in the group's efforts to gain control of the country.
The so-called Government of National Accord said its forces, supported militarily by Turkey, proclaimed the latest victory on Facebook, marking another milestone against Haftar.
"Tripoli has been liberated and fully secured, and we have reached the administrative borders of the city of Tarhuna, southeast of the capital," said Mustafa al-Majei, the representative for Operation Burkan Al-Ghadab, or Volcano of Rage.
Haftar, which started an offensive to capture Tripoli last spring, is backed by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
"The Turkish intervention has created a new reality on the ground, at least in western Libya," said Riccardo Fabiani, project director for North Africa at the International Crisis Group. "The momentum behind Haftar's Tripoli campaign seems to have been lost and a new equilibrium has now set in."
Both sides have blamed each other for the failure of past ceasefire attempts. The GNA currently controls western Libya while Haftar's fighters are in control of the oil-rich eastern portion of Libya.