The UN has recorded close to 350 people killed, including 22 civilians, and over 1,650 wounded, including 74 civilians. human rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet informed, expressing serious concerns . The actual number of civilians killed or injured “is likely to be higher”, she added.
The Tripoli counter-terrorism operation led by the LNA became the biggest military confrontation in Libya since the 2011 assassination of Muammar Gaddafi, This week fighting have intensified again with both sides using heavy artillery.
Fighting broke out in Tripoli at the beginning of April, when Marshall Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army, announced counter-terrorist operation, liberating Tripoli from militia, keeping the city hostage, also preventing diplomats and international community to return to the capital. By the second week of the month, casualties were hundreds of killed and wounded, and thousands of displaced.
While regional and international players support the rival factions, the battle for Tripoli continues.
Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross () in Libya left Tripoli, according to their own statement on the Twitter micro blog page.
According to the Red Cross assessment around 30 000 inhabitants has to flee Tripoli as a result of the ongoing fighting.
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.
The fighting intensified on April 20 at the gates of Tripoli (pictured) after the forces loyal to the National Unity Government (GNA) announced an “attack phase” against Marshal Khalifa Haftar‘s troops set to liberate the Libyan capital from terrorist groups.
The troops of the Libyan National Army (ANL) of Marshal Haftar, the strongman of the east of the country, launched on April 4 a counter-terrorist operation to defeat terrorist groups, ravaging the west of the country.
White House informed that President Donald Trump had a telephone conversation with Libyan Commander Khalifa Haftar and discussed “ongoing counter terrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya.”
The telephone call took place on April 15, Monday, however it was announced by the administration only by the end of the week.
Commander Haftar has double US and Libyan citizenship.
President Trump “recognized Field Marshal Haftar‘s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system,” the White House said in its official readout of the call.
Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte (pictured) said any foreign military intervention in Libya would not resolve the conflict in its former colony, warning that it might trigger a refugee exodus across the Mediterranean.
“A military option cannot be a solution,” Conte told daily Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper in an interview published on April 13.
This week Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he would not “stand by” if France were to block peace in Libya.
“If there were economic interests behind the chaos in Libya, if France blocked a European initiative to bring peace, if that were true, I won’t stand by and watch,” he said on Italian radio.
“Also because the Italians would pay the consequences“.
Salvini said “if someone for business (interests) plays war, they’ve found the wrong minister in me“.
Hospitals near Libyan capital Tripoli have reported 47 people dead and 181 wounded in last few days since troops under Commander Khalifa Haftar announced counter-terrorist operation.
Commander Haftar reportedly told the UN chief that his operation towards Tripoli will continue until terrorism has been defeated. Haftar‘s forces said they had lost at least 19 fighters.
However till present Haftar has not announced any long-term plan apart from eliminating terrorism, ravaging Tripoli.