Haftar's forces in Libya to continue offensive to Tripoli

Haftar's forces in Libya to continue offensive to Tripoli

Kerry Wise
April 7, 2019

General Haftar - who was appointed chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) under an earlier UN-backed administration - is fighting for control of an area about 30km (20 miles) south of Tripoli near the disused global airport.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) says it has secured Gharyan and moved on.

Hifter, leader of the self-styled Libya National Army, has deployed his forces to seize Tripoli, the seat of Libya's United Nations -backed government, sparking fears of a major showdown with rival militias.

There was no independent confirmation of that, but a video posted online purportedly showed LNA fighters inside Qasr ben Ghashir suburb, which includes the airport.

Responding to reports of the airstrikes, the LNA said it was declaring a no-fly zone for military aircraft in the east of Libya, Al Arabia reported.

Marshal Haftar's offensive towards Tripoli raises fears of a risk of a flare up in Libya. These militias appear to have united to oppose Field Marshall Haftar's offensive, augmented by reinforcements from Misrata, a coastal town 180 km to the east.

Shortly afterwards, LNA forces clashed with a pro-government alliance less than 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of the capital, a unity government source said.

According to Reuters, the US provided air support to Libyan forces fighting ISIS in 2016 and continued to launch strikes on suspected militants there after the end of that campaign.

He met with Gen. Haftar and then told journalists he was leaving Libya "with a deep concern and a heavy heart". "I still hope that it would be possible to avoid bloody confrontation in and around Tripoli and the United Nation will remain available to facilitate any political solution able to unify the Libyan institutions".

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Maxwell then finished Imam-ul-Haq's resistance and Nathan Lyon produced the key wicket of Shoaib Malik. Finch holed out to leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the 42nd over but he had once again built the innings.

It coincides with the UN Secretary General's visit to the country, to help organize a reconciliation national conference.

Libya's rival leaders, GNA's Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj and Haftar, agreed in Paris last year to hold elections before the end of the year, but that vote never materialized as the two rival administrations and numerous militias grapple for power.

In a statement on Saturday, Human Rights Watch warned that civilians could be caught in the middle of fighting.

Dozens of them were captured and their vehicles seized, the security source said.

The governments of France, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, UK and U.S. issued a joint statement saying they were "deeply concerned" by fighting near Gharyan, south of the capital.

Overseas Filipino workers planning to return to Libya are "strongly advised" to postpone their flight until tensions subside, the DFA said. Any Libyan actor or faction that precipitates further civil conflict are harming innocent people and standing in the way of the peace that Libyans deserve.

Haftar's dramatic bid to take Tripoli came as a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers was being held in northern France with the club issuing a statement on Friday urging an immediate halt to "all military activity and movements toward Tripoli".

The appeal was unanimously backed by the council, including Russian Federation, which has previously supported the 75-year-old.