Haftar attacking Tripoli with Egyptian, UAE and Saudi arms, Libya General claims

Apr 07, 2019, 00:30
Haftar attacking Tripoli with Egyptian, UAE and Saudi arms, Libya General claims

Conflicting reports emerged Saturday about ongoing fighting over control in Tripoli between forces loyal to east Libya-based Haftar and opponents.

The United Nations wants to find agreement on a road map for elections to resolve the protracted instability in Libya, an important oil exporter and transit point for refugees and migrants trekking across the Sahara with the objective of reaching Europe across the Mediterranean Sea to the north.

He warned that they would retaliate against any threats to their forces.

"Because the new government negotiated at Abu Dhabi was not revealed, Haftar felt that Tripoli players had not submitted enough to him ahead of the national conference", added Harchaoui.

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The escalation comes after forces commanded by Haftar, who runs the self-styled Libya National Army based in the country's east, pushed westward. Former lawmaker Abdel-Raouf al-Manaei said the forces fighting under the umbrella of the Government of National Accord will not permit "a replica of el-Sissi military rule in Libya", in reference to the authoritarian Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who is an army chief turned president.

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.

On Saturday, a source with the Libyan Presidential Guard told Anadolu Agency that Haftar forces were still in control of Qasr bin Ghashir as GNA forces were mobilizing forces to relaunch a campaign to recapture areas under Haftar's control.

The UN Security Council has also called for an end to the campaign, and Russian Federation has also pushed for dialogue between the warring factions in Libya. The UN Security council has issued a similar call. From the left are: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Britain's Director General for Political Affairs at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Richard Moore, Italy's Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

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In 2014, he assembled former Qaddafi soldiers and in a three-year battle seized Benghazi. Guterres had been in the capital this week to help organize a national reconciliation conference planned for later this month.

In December Haftar met Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj from the UN-backed government at a conference but refused to attend official talks.

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.

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

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Both statements echoed earlier words from United Nations Secretary General António Guterres that "there is no military solution". "Short clashes were reported between the forces in the area of Hira", according to Libya Herald.

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