Libyan National Army

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Group.png Libyan National Army  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png

The Libyan National Army (LNA) is a political faction in Libya and was formerly the country's national military, consisting of a ground force and air force. It was established by the Libyan government after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 military intervention by NATO, and is backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates.[1]

In 2014, the Libyan National Army became its own political faction when under the leadership of General Khalifa Haftar it launched Operation Dignity, a coup against the Islamist-dominated General National Congress, the Libyan parliament. Most of the Libyan military sided with Haftar. The LNA was the military of Libya until late 2015, when the internationally recognised Government of National Accord was established in Tripoli, and established its own Libyan Army. Since then the LNA has not been recognised as the military of Libya.

In the ongoing conflict, the LNA is loyal to the legislative body in Tobruk, the Libyan House of Representatives, internationally recognised until October 2015. It fights against the Islamist-led Libya Dawn, the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries as well as Islamic State in Libya which is a common enemy for both the Libyan National Army and the Libya Dawn. The internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli does not have a truly unified regular army, but relies on various militia groups in northwestern Libya, which operate under the nominal command of the GNA Defence Ministry.

Originally, the army was split between Khalifa Haftar's "anti-terrorist" faction, which acted largely independently, and Abdulsalam al-Obaidi's "legalist" faction which relied on orders from political authorities. In 2014, the Council of Deputies appointed Haftar commander of the whole army, re-uniting the two factions. The LNA possesses its own air force, but most of the Libyan Navy is loyal to the GNA.[2]


References

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