Results tagged “Libya”
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Pro-government and Islamist forces are fighting over two of the country's largest oil ports in eastern Libya, shutting both down. The Islamist Libya Dawn carried out its first airstrikes of the conflict, hitting security forces in the port cities of Sidra and Ras Lanuf. Pro-government allied Zintanis claim to have captured "a senior Libya Dawn commander near Abu Khammash" and that there were three army airstrikes near Zuwara and Zultan.
Anti-government forces with Libya Dawn attacked al-Hilal, a major oil region, causing the shutdown of one oil export port and threatening another. Pro-government forces under General Khalifa Hafter and Libya Dawn are fighting over the Ras Jdir border crossing, the main crossing into Tunisia. Hafter's forces claimed to have seized "the western Bokmash area and the Ras Ajdir border crossing," forcing a retreat by Libya Dawn. A Libyan Army airstrike on the Abu-Kammash area near the Tunisian border killed four Islamist fighters and injured several more.
Libya's internationally recognized prime minister said that pro-government troops are moving toward Triploi "to liberate it" from Islamist militias and the rival government. Medical sources said 50 people have been killed in the past 10 days during fighting in Benghazi. A Libyan government source claims that France blocked UK attempts to place sanctions on pro-government General Khalifa Hafter. The Libyan Army is preparing for an attack on the Islamist-held town of Derna.
The UN is expanding peace talks in Libya to include the rival government based in Tripoli, in addition to the internationally recognized government currently in Tobruk. General Khalifa Hafter has stipulated eight conditions for participation in the talks, including the recognition of the Tobruk government as the sole representative of the Libyan people. Ansar al Sharia released a propaganda video showing the destruction of one of Hafter's tanks, while the Libyan Air Force claimed to have destroyed a training camp run by the Egyptian Brothers group in Sirte.
US Africa Command General David Rodriguez noted that reports on the Islamic State's presence in Libya are "mixed," but that individuals are "coming [to Libya] for training and logistics support right now. It's for training sites, and that's what we see right now. As far as a huge command-and-control network, I've not seen that yet." It's been reported that the Libyan House of Representatives plans to appoint General Khalifa Hafter commander-in-chief of the Libyan Army. A Libyan Army airstrike hit a militia post at the Ras Jedir border crossing with Tunisia on Dec. 5, killing one person.
Libyan Army airstrikes in the western city of Zwara killed eight people and wounded 24; a spokesman from Tripoli's Islamist-controlled government claimed the strike hit a food warehouse and a chemical factory, whereas Army forces under General Khalifa Haftar claimed the target was an arms depot. A random shell killed four people and wounded seven after falling in a residential area of Benghazi. In a Brussels meeting, Western and international powers claimed readiness to "consider additional measures to protect Libya's unity, stability and prosperity" as the country melts down. A UN envoy has declared Libya a "non-state."
Roughly 400 people have been killed in Benghazi during the past six weeks of fighting between pro-government forces and Islamist militias. The Libya Scholars League has reportedly called for Libyan resistance to the jihadist Ansar al Sharia.
Human Rights Watch reports that Islamic extremists are "terrorizing" citizens of Derna "through summary executions, public floggings, and other violent abuse." The UN Security Council expressed "profound concern" for the violence in Libya. Turkey has condemned the Libyan Air Force strikes on Mitiga Airport in Tripoli; a court in the parallel government issued an arrest warrant for Libyan General Khalifa Haftar over the airstrikes. Prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni said strikes on the capital will cease when Libya Dawn and other Islamist groups surrender. Libya Dawn forces were reportedly forced to retreat after an attempt to take Al-Wattiya airbase.
An airstrike hit the Mitiga airport in Tripoli for the second day in a row; the forces of general Khalifa Haftar claimed the attack on Nov. 24. Libyan Air Force planes also bombed a Libya Dawn camp in Sabratha. Haftar's troops and other pro-government forces took the western town of Kekla from Islamist militias. The House of Representatives has voted to reinstate Haftar in the military, along with Brigadier Saqr Geroushi, Air Force Commander of the national armed forces, and 15 other officers.
The UN has added Ansar al Sharia to its list of terrorist organizations and imposed sanctions on the Islamist group. US officials said they are "concerned" about the Islamic State's ties to Derna. A Libya Dawn commander was injured in fighting with pro-government forces near Gwalish.
Some reports claim that jihadists allied to the Islamic State are in control of the city of Derna; about "300 of the 800-strong force" of local IS are believed to have fought with the group in Iraq and Syria. "Sporadic clashes" between pro-government forces and Libya Dawn continue southwest of Tripoli. Libya Dawn is reported to control the northern half of the town of Kikla, while pro-government forces occupy the rest. The number of internally displaced refugees in Libya is nearing 400,000. Islamist militias and pro-government forces have agreed to a 12-hour UN-brokered ceasefire in Benghazi.
Four people were reported killed and 10 wounded in fighting between Libya Dawn and pro-government forces near Mitiga Airport in Tripoli. Omar al-Hassi, the head of the Islamist regime based in Tripoli, has rejected negotiations with pro-government forces. Libya was ranked 15th on the most recent Global Terrorism Index.
Mitiga Airport closed down after fighting between unknown factions broke out in Tripoli. "Medical sources" claim 356 people - over 200 of them pro-government fighters - have been killed in the past month of fighting in Benghazi; the Libyan parliament has declared the city "a disaster area."