m3n4.net April 21, 2019

Haftar's forces in Libya to continue offensive to Tripoli

07 April 2019, 12:31 | Tara Lloyd

G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement on the Situation in the West of Libya

Libya: Tripoli launches operation to push back Haftar - General news - ANSAMed

As clashes continued on the outskirts of Tripoli on Saturday, human rights groups warned of civilians suffering possible abuses if the fighting escalated, joining a chorus of worldwide powers calling for a cessation of all hostilities.

Field Marshall Haftar was quoted by Al-Arabiya TV as telling Mr Guterres that the operation to capture Tripoli would continue until terrorism was defeated.

For Libyan university professor Ahmad al-Messalati, Haftar "is capable of taking Tripoli but only on one condition", if he manages to form "strong and efficient alliances with certain armed groups" in Tripoli to ensure his forces can enter the capital without bloodshed.

Amid the escalating tension, an array of global leaders and organisations have called for all parties to put an end to the ongoing conflict and instead focus their efforts on establishing a roadmap towards elections to resolve Libya's prolonged instability. It comes amid reports that the UN-backed government used airstrikes against his troops.

Libya has been riven by violence and division since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.

What's happening on the ground?

Forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar said Friday they had captured the former Tripoli International Airport on the outskirts of the capital.

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On Friday the LNA briefly seized the airport before being pushed out.

Fighting has been reported near the former worldwide airport, which the LNA claims now to control.

Meanwhile, armed groups allied to the United Nations -backed Tripoli government moved more machine gun-mounted pickups from the coastal city of Misrata to Tripoli to defend it against Haftar's forces. "He underestimated the reaction of the foreign powers, being even so daring as to choose the day (Guterres) arrived in Tripoli to order the invasion", said Libyan analyst Kaouthar Hassan.

Tripoli residents have begun stocking up on food and fuel, AFP reported.

This year, he took Libya's south with its oilfields.

"They also called on all forces to de-escalate and halt military activity".

After a briefing by the United Nations envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, the council said there can be no military solution to the conflict.

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Russian Federation has also called on parties in the escalating conflict to find an agreement. "It's been since then that it has become a ruined state, let's call things by their proper names, and turned into a black hole through which terrorists go to the south, along with the illegal smuggling of weapons, and to the north - the flow of illegal migrants", Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

However, Russia also warned against efforts to blame Gen Haftar for the insecurity in the country.

The statement added that military activity is "hindering prospects for the UN-led political process, putting civilians in danger, and prolonging the suffering of the Libyan people". But they failed to detail enforcement mechanisms if the Libyan strongman refused to commit to a political solution.

Despite the chorus of worldwide concern over his actions, he has had support from powerful outside players, including the UAE and Egypt.

"We strongly believe that there is no military solution to the Libya conflict", the statement said.

"We very much hope that he will take it into consideration".

Reporting from the French coastal city of Dinard, where G7 foreign ministers were meeting to prepare for a grouping summit in August, FRANCE 24's Robert Parsons said there appeared to be unity amongst the global community on the need to make sure Haftar "toes the line".

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