The launch of the second phase of the battle for Tripoli, has been reported by the local portal Al-Wasat.
The spokesman for the General Command, Major General Ahmad Al-Mismari, announced that “the commander of the western military zone, Major General Idris Madi, is heading a large force from the city of Zintan under the Tripoli liberation operations room and has received his combat mission.”
At the moment the Libyan National Army has begun to form additional combat units. This happened after fixing on the western theater of operations, according to the representative of the armed association Ahmed al-Mismari,
He also added that that the LNA Air Force did not perform any flights on April 22. According to al-Mismari, the forces of the Libyan army were seen above the LNA airbase.
Earlier it became known that the capital of Libya was subjected to rocket fire. According to a number of media outlets, the strikes were inflicted by the forces under the leadership of Khalifa Haftar, however, LNA representatives denied this information.
Libyan Marshal Khalifa Haftar troops took control over Tripoli Airport, Al-Arabiya TV channel reports, quoting a relevant press-release, issued by the Commander. (Image above: illustration).
The march on the capital has been announced as an counter-terrorist operation, which will be ongoing until the terrorists are “eliminated”, the Commander explained to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Marshal Haftar march on Libyan capital is endorsed by Tobruk Parliament, the document is available in Arabic language.
“I leave Libya with a heavy heart and deeply concerned. I still hope it is possible to avoid a bloody confrontation in and around Tripoli. The UN is committed to facilitating a political solution and, whatever happens, the UN is committed to supporting the Libyan people” wrote the Antonio Guterres in his Twitter micro blog. The message came after his visit to Libya for meeting with eastern commander Khalifa Haftar who has declared his troops are marching on the capital Tripoli in an counter-terrorist operation, supported by Tobruk Parliament. Marshal Khalifa Haftar told UN Secretary General that counter-terrorist operation will continue until complete ‘elimination of terrorism‘, Al-Arabiya TV reported.
At present there are conflicting reports about an ongoing offensive in Tripoli area.
The same pan-Arab channel reported Marshal Haftar troops “took control ” of Suq al-Khamis village some 40 km south of Tripoli, further they moved took over Ben-Hashir, a town 34 km from Tripoli, and now there are heading the airport.
Image above: illustration.
Niger governmental troops have eliminated more than 280 Boko Haram militants in combat and in air strikes since an operation against the radical Islam group last week, the defence ministry said.
Boko Haram has intruded Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria, where it has been fighting for more than nine years to establish a religious Islamic state – Caliphate.
The defence ministry informed that the army mounted an intense operation against the militants in the end of 2018 along the Komadugu river, which separates Niger from Nigeria.
More than 200 militants were “neutralized” by air strikes and 87 were killed by Nigerien troops in combat it said.
Italian police arrested five Maghrebins as part of a major operation against suspected supporters of Islamist terrorism in central and southern Italy. Previously a teacher, indoctrinating children with martyrdom ideology was also arrested in counter-terrorism operation.
“A vast anti-terrorism operation” was being carried out by special investigation forces based in Rome and region, namely in the nearby town of Latina, police said in a statement.
The five Tunisians detained are suspected of being part of a broader network connected to Anis Amri, the other migrant from Tunis who killed 12 people when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin (2016).
Amri was shot dead by Italian police near Milan four days after the Berlin attack.
Numerous African states seek to pursue military and technical cooperation with Russia and purchase new generation of weapon systems, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Africa Department Andrei Kemarsky told TASS news agency.
“The armed forces of many African countries were established in the Soviet period with the active support of our country. The armament and military hardware they operate are of Soviet or Russian origin. In this regard, they objectively retain interested in maintaining this hardware in an operational state, renewing it and acquiring some new weapon systems,” the Russian diplomat said.
“Besides the African countries view the development of cooperation in the military and technical sphere as an instrument of ensuring their sovereignty, independence and countering the pressure of Western countries and providing security, including amid the struggle against terrorism challenges,” Kemarsky continued.
“The threat of terrorism in some African regions has been at intensified, also as a result of the Western countries’ military intervention in Libya, from which radical ideas, extremism and terrorism are spreading today, first of all, to the Sahara-Sahel region,” Russian diplomat added.
“We stand together in our fight against terrorism,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said in remarks to the press this morning. “These are difficult and dramatic hours which testify to how European and Africans are brothers and sisters in both the fight against terrorism and in the solidarity of our response to it,” Mogherini said.
“We will continue to work together day after day and will not let terrorism win,” Mogherini added in a press conference later in the day.
The EU currently has more than 500 troops from 27 countries deployed in Mali with a mandate to provide capacity-building to the Malian army and support their mission to restore Malian territorial integrity, protect the population and reduce the threat posed by terrorist groups.
EU foreign ministers meeting today in Luxembourg adopted positions on counter-terrorism as well as the Africa-EU partnership and EU support to Mali and the Sahel region. They reiterated the EU’s full support to the implementation of the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. They also commended the political leadership of the G5 Sahel countries G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) for recently setting up a joint counter-terrorism force, which the EU recently announced it would support with EUR 50 million.
The EU takes an integrated approach to promote the security, stability and development of the region. In addition to its support for the G5 Sahel force, the EU invests heavily in sustainable development in Mali and the region. The EU’s development cooperation initiatives in Mali mainly focus on political and economic governance, strengthening institutional capacities and regional integration. The EU furthermore provides around EUR 46 million a year in humanitarian aid to Mali.
“Our partnership is very strong and will be consolidated, strengthened on the occasion of the Africa-EU summit this November,” Mogherini said.