Libya: Haftar forces targeted by air raids

Forces under the command of General Khalifa Haftar which are marching towards Tripoli are being targeted by air raids to stop his advance towards the capital which threatens to destabilise the country. Outskirts of the capital thus marked growth in fighting and various civilians who are caught up in the same are suffering untold abuses. Many human rights groups across the globe have joined in to condemn the current developments and have called for an immediate cessation of all kinds of violence.

The self-proclaimed army of the General Haftar known as the Libyan National Army has stated that it is carrying out the operation for securing the former international airport of Tripoli which is based nearly 30 km south of the city. It has stated that it will use the same for the launch of missions which are aimed at seizing primary sites in the capital. The latter statement has come after two days when Haftar had ordered the march of his forces towards Tripoli.

The capital is said to be under the control of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) which is further protected by many militias. The Libyan National Army is serving a parallel administration which is based in the eastern part of Libya.

There have been contrasting reports of the possible capture of the airport by LNA and GNA. The latter claim that they have captured the site. The areas on the outskirts of Tripoli form the front lines of the ongoing war in Libya. The move by LNS towards the capital has further escalated the power struggle in the country which has already been hit by a patchy influence of competing power bases ever since the former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. In a sharp response to the move of Haftar, even the GNA has authorised the attacks against any military activities carried out by Libyan National Army forces.

Amid the growing tension in the region, a host of international leaders and organisations have urged all the sides involved to put an end to the ongoing struggle and focus their energies on the planning of elections for resolving the extended instability in the region. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN has committed himself to support the people of Libya. Guterres stated, “The UN is committed to facilitating a political solution and, whatever happens, the UN is committed to supporting the Libyan people”. The comments have come as Gueterres has wind off his visit to Libya which was aimed at organising a national reconciliation conference which has been planned for this month.




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