Results tagged “Libya”
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At least 19 soldiers were killed in a Libya Dawn attack on pro-government forces near a power plant in Sirte. The Islamist group also attempted to seize some of Libya's main oil terminals in al Sidra, firing rockets from speedboats, killing at least 22 soldiers, and setting an oil tank on fire before being driven back.
Pro-government forces conducted airstrikes on Islamist fighters on Dec. 21 as clashes for the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil ports continue. Libya Dawn was forced to retreat after a failed attempt to take the towns of Zultan and Al-Jmail. The Islamist rival government called on foreigners to return to Tripoli. Jihadists in Derna have banned smoking, declaring it haram and burning several tobacco shops.
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.