Can Libya's strongman Haftar capture Tripoli?

Share

The forces of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli have launched a counteroffensive against the advancing troops of the rival Tobruk-based government, the army's spokesperson, Mohammed Gununu, declared on Sunday.

Col. Mohamed Gnounou, a spokesman for GNA forces, said in televised comments Sunday that the counteroffensive, dubbed "Volcano of Anger", was aimed at "purging all Libyan cities of aggressor and illegitimate forces".

He did not provide details on the number of US troops that have been withdrawn or on how many remain inside the country.

In the past, Haftar has struck deals with armed factions outside Tripoli to advance his forces.

On Saturday he said pro-Haftar fighters were "progressing on several fronts.as planned" and that Tripoli would soon be captured.

Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army launched the assault on Thursday as United Nations chief Antonio Guterres visited Tripoli ahead of a planned conference later this month to hammer out a roadmap for delayed parliamentary and presidential elections.

General Haftar - who was appointed chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA) under an earlier UN-backed administration - ordered his forces to advance on Tripoli on Thursday, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was in the city to discuss the ongoing crisis. Resulting from years-long civil conflict, Libya has no single government now, with LNA backing the Tobruk-based parliament which governs the East of Libya, and the GNA which controls Libya's western parts from Tripoli, reports Sputnik.

Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government arrive in Tajura, a coastal suburb of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on 6 April, 2019.

Waldhauser did not discuss where the USA forces have been relocated.

Here's How Many Measles Cases Have Now Been Confirmed In Orange County
It spreads either through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when the patient coughs or sneezes. Dallas County Health and Human Services reported its first confirmed case of measles in a Dallas resident since 2017.

NATO Secretary General addresses historic Joint Meeting of the United States Congress
As with Mark Twain's obituary, reports of the alliance's imminent demise due to weakening US support may be "greatly exaggerated". Trump hasn't tried to hide his reservations, despite his isolation in Washington.

Avengers: Endgame 'Mind-Blowing'; To Open Huge
It's suggested with the Chinese box office that Endgame could have a near billion dollar worldwide opening, possibly somewhere around $840 million.

The offensive threatens to throw Libya into full-blown civil war and usher in the most significant escalation of violence since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi by a popular rebellion backed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation airstrikes.

Armed groups allied to the Tripoli government have moved more machinegun-mounted pickup trucks to defend Tripoli from Misrata down the coast.

"I still hope it is possible to avoid a bloody confrontation in and around Tripoli", Guterres tweeted.

A similar stance was taken by the UN Security Council which, following a closed-door emergency meeting Friday, said those responsible for re-igniting the conflict will be held responsible.

Despite the Tripoli flare-up, United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame insisted the April 14-16 talks in the Libyan city of Ghadames would go ahead.

"We are determined" to hold the talks, he said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said there should be pressure on all the actors in Libya "especially general Haftar".

But UN envoy Ghassan Salame insisted on Saturday the April 14-16 conference would go ahead.

Share