Results tagged “Libya”
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Tripoli Airport is reportedly in flames, the day after its capture by Islamist forces after weeks of fighting. Unidentified warplanes again attacked areas of Tripoli today; previous airstrikes in Tripoli have been claimed by the government-allied Operation Dignity. The new parliament issued a statement blaming the Libya Dawn and Ansar al Sharia groups as "terrorists" for staging an uprising against legitimate powers; the Islamist-allied former GNC claimed to be resuming operations at the request of Libya Dawn.
The Islamist coalition Libya Dawn claimed to have taken over Tripoli airport; heavy fighting resulted in numerous casualties on both sides. Earlier today, Operation Dignity aircraft attacked Islamist forces in Tripoli, reportedly killing 10 people and injuring dozens more. Fighting also flared up in Benghazi, and Operation Dignity dismissed rumors that it had lost Benina Airbase to Ansar al Sharia and its allies. After closing two state-owned TV stations that had been taken over by Islamists, the government warned private Libyan TV stations against inciting violence and unrest. Some 200 Italian companies in Libya are seeking guarantees against the ongoing insecurity.
Fighting between Islamist militias and pro-government forces continued in Tripoli and in Benghazi, where a Salafist cleric who commands an Operation Dignity unit was shot and wounded yesterday. An estimated 43,500 Tripoli residents have been displaced by the fighting, and over 100,000 Libyans fled into Tunisia in July. The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, who has spent the last three months in London, stated that the Islamist Libya Dawn coalition is to be supported and the pro-government Operation Dignity forces and Zintani militias are to be opposed.
Reports have emerged that 11 planes, said to be passenger aircraft, disappeared during recent clashes at Tripoli airport. Due to security concerns, Egypt has banned all flights from Libya, and Tunisia has banned flights originating from Mitiga, Misrata, and Sirte, which are not under government control. In coordination with US naval forces in the Mediterranean, the air forces of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, and Malta will participate in a joint military exercise that includes simulations of intercepting civilian or military aircraft piloted by terrorists. The town of Tarhouna announced its support for the Islamist coalition Libya Dawn. Fighting between Islamists and government-linked forces is continuing in Tripoli, where the airport has been closed for a month, and in Benghazi.
The Shura Council of Islamic Youth publicly executed an Egyptian man in a Derna football stadium filled with applauding spectators; the al Qaeda-linked group similarly executed two men in Derna on July 27. Clashes between Islamists and pro-government forces continued in Benghazi, where Operation Dignity sources said reports that Benina Airport had fallen were false, and claimed that Ansar al Sharia is forcing Buatni residents from their homes. Fighting continued for the fifth week in Tripoli, where shells fell in residential areas. Awlad Suleiman tribesmen tried to prevent the Sebha Municipal Council from announcing Sebha's support for the Islamist coalition Libya Dawn. Rumors emerged that Sudanese mercenaries have flown into Kufra en route to Benghazi to support Ansar al Sharia.
Islamist militias continued to clash with pro-government forces in Tripoli, where airstrikes reportedly targeted militias that had not agreed to the government's order for a ceasefire. The Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, which includes Ansar al Sharia, Libya Shield, and other Islamist groups, denounced the newly formed Shura Council of Benghazi, which is led by Muslim Brotherhood figures. Two state-owned TV stations that had been taken over by Islamists were shut down at the government's request. Members of Parliament will be housed temporarily on a ship while they hold session in the coastal city of Tobruk.
Operation Dignity forces conducted airstrikes against Islamist targets in Tripoli, reportedly killing five people and wounding 30 more. Both Libyan and NATO forces denied reports that their aircraft were involved in the strikes. The commander of Operation Dignity's air forces warned that there will be similar attacks on Islamist fighters in the coming weeks "in Sabratha, Gemenis. Ajdabiya, Derna and Sirte." Clashes between Operation Dignity and Islamist militias also erupted in Bengzhazi. Ansar al Sharia released photos of its followers distributing appliances in Derna and watching AQAP videos in Benghazi.
A sergeant in Operation Dignity's forces in Benghazi was killed and decapitated. Saiqa forces were said to be pushing out of their Benina airbase stronghold in Benghazi, which has been under attack by Ansar al Sharia; Operation Dignity forces claimed to be trying to abide by the ceasefire ordered by Parliament. Benghazi University rejected the Islamists' offer of protection.
Nuri Abu Sahmain, former president of the GNC, claimed on Misrata TV that he is still in charge, and refused to recognize the authority of the new Parliament. Attacks on journalists covering the new Parliament have cut the flow of news from Libya. A delegation from the UN and the EU visited Misrata Municipal Council to try to resolve the current crisis in Libya. Islamist protesters rallied in Tripoli, Misrata, and Benghazi against the new Parliament.
Tripoli University has closed due to continuing insecurity in the capital city. Ansar al Sharia ignored the Parliament's call for an unconditional ceasefire in Benghazi and Tripoli. Operation Dignity forces bombed a boat allegedly carrying fighters and weapons from Syria as it approached the port of Derna on Aug. 11; Islamist fighters in the city tried to hit the Operation Dignity plane with anti-aircraft missiles. On Aug. 11, Ansar al Sharia released photos of its anti-aircraft defenses in Derna. France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US issued a joint statement condemning the fighting in Libya and urging all parties to recognize the authority of Parliament.
Fighting escalated in Tripoli, and the Islamist Misratan forces shelled the largely Zintani-supporting neighborhood of Ghut Shaal. Suspected Islamist gunmen yesterday assassinated Tripoli security head Colonel Mohamed Al Suwaisi, a supporter of Operation Dignity. In Benghazi, Ansar al Sharia forces have deployed to a new checkpoint within striking distance of the Saiqa Special Forces base at Benina Airport; Operation Dignity claimed that the Saiqa forces have serious internal problems. The Parliament voted to dissolve all armed brigades in the country, and asked the UN to intervene immediately "to protect civilians and state institutions in Libya."
Chief of Staff Abdulati Al-Obeidi told Parliament that the Libyan Army is close to collapsing and that he cannot control of it. Despite calls from Parliament and the UN for a ceasefire, clashes between Islamist and government-allied militias continued in Tripoli and Benghazi. Several staff members of a Libyan TV station recently taken over by a Muslim Brotherhood leader quit, citing antigovernment bias in the station's reporting. Despite a warning from Operation Dignity that Benghazi's port would close to prevent the shipment of arms to Islamist forces there, the port was said to be operating normally today.
Operation Dignity forces claimed to have killed 70 Islamist fighters from Ansar al Sharia and the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council with airstrikes as they advanced towards Benina airbase, and to have captured 17 more. Islamist Misratan fighters reportedly retook Camp 27 outside Tripoli yesterday. Clashes spread from Tripoli west towards Zawiya, the site of a large oil port. Two kidnapped lawmakers were released in Tripoli. One of them, from Benghazi, disappeared after being freed; his son was killed by kidnappers.