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.
Pope Francis has appealed for the evacuation of women, children and sick migrants trapped in Libyan detention centers as soon as possible, through humanitarian corridors.
During his Regina Coeli prayer, the Pontiff said the refugees’ situation, “which is already very serious, has become even more dangerous due to the ongoing conflict.”
Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his concern with the conditions of illegal migrants in Libyan detention centers, including those who are sent back after trying to reach Europe by sea. There were also circulating rumors of pro- Fayez Al-Sarraj militias in Tripoli force the migrants to defend the city, the clams UN-backed government denied.
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.
Italy and France have intensified efforts to end conflict in Libya, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said after meeting his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Rome on April 19.
“Naturally we talked about the situation in Libya, which is worrying and holds the attention of both our governments,” Moavero explained at a joint press conference with Le Drian. “Our position, an absolutely joint one, is that a ceasefire must be achieved as soon as possible”.
Le Drian underlined that cease-fire and return to negociations are paramount.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt need of peace and stability in Libya as “global priority“. Both top diplomats reaffirmed their commitment to continued diplomatic efforts in Libya aiming at return to political process.