On April 16th, the Government of National Accord’s armed forces provided a progress briefing on the battle of Tripoli.
According to it, for the 12th day in a row the GNA forces are successfully defending Tripoli and arrested “dozens of illegal armed elements” around the city. Some escape, but they abandoned their weapons, equipment and vehicles.
The GNA reportedly seized five vehicles and a battle tank. The forces in the 166th battalion in the axis of Sawani and Zahra arrested a group of illegitimate militias and seized a tank and a transport vehicle for the soldiers.
The GNA air force claimed it continued its reconnaissance and combat operations and targeted a number of vehicles that allegedly indiscriminately shelled the neighborhoods of Abu Salim, Hadaba, Ayn Zara, Arrada, Wadi Al-Rabea.
GNA warplanes also targeted al-Watiya and al-Jafra bases and the supply lines of the Libyan National Army (LNA) at more than one position.
The GNA once more accused the LNA of targeting civilians. Allegedly on April 16th LNA shelling struck the neighborhood of Tajoura.
The GNA also published photographs (also showing victims) of the results of alleged LNA launches of Grad rockets at neighborhoods of Tripoli.
According to reports, the shelling killed 4 in the southern district of Abu Salim.
The artillery killed at least two people and wounded eight, Osama Ali, spokesman for a Tripoli emergency body. He didn’t mention which side carried out the shelling.
Another official told Libya Al Ahrar TV channel four people were killed and 20 wounded.
At least 174 people have been killed and 756 wounded since the LNA started its offensive on April 4, according to the World Health Organization.
On the side of the LNA, the War Information Division posted on Facebook that a video allegedly showing Grad rockets being launched towards Tripoli was, in fact, a video from 2015 from the fought by the Arab alliance against the Houthis in Yemen.
The LNA maintains that it has nothing to do with the shelling of civilians and is not responsible for the civilian deaths, alleging that GNA-allied militants are actually carrying out the strikes in attempts to smear Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
In another part of the briefing, the LNA said that the militia of Marsa led by the criminal Salah Badi, pointed their guns at civilians.
This was a result of the LNA winning across all positions and the GNA-allied militants attempting to lead international attitudes against Haftar’s forces.
إيجاز صحفي مقتضب رقم 2—-كعادتها وعند كل هزيمة أمام ضربات رجال قواتنا المسلحة ، تبدأ مليشيات لصوص الإعتمادات المجرمة…
The LNA accused “Fathi Ali Pasha, who personally created the dirty plan used in all the wars fought by this minister since the terrorist bombing of Libya until today, thinking it to be a trick believed by the people and the international community.”
Finally, the LNA claimed that the Dawn of Libya, which is a militant group loyal to the GNA, stormed the US embassy headquarters on the Airport road. The headquarters had no staff or guards, since the US vacated it earlier.
The militia seized a group of armored vehicles and three military-equipped security warehouses and armored vehicles, also allegedly captured one of the Marines assigned to protect the headquarters and were in the building’s garage. The statement concluded that the LNA has not dealt with the situation, but it presumably would.
On April 16th, the Tunisia border guard caught 24 armed Europeans coming from Libya in two separate cases.
Tunisian Defence Minister Abdelkareem Zubaidi said that “an armed group of 13 French nationals tried on Sunday to cross the land border, under diplomatic cover, with four-wheel drive vehicles through the Ras Jedir border crossing (on the border with Libya).”
Zubaidi added that “the militants of the group refused to hand over their weapons at first, but the military authorities at the crossing forced them to do so.”
The other group was of 11 European nationals with diplomatic passports, coming from Libya trying to cross the maritime border in “two rigid inflatable boats.”
Zubaidi said that “the Tunisian navy detected the operation and confiscated the weapons and ammunition they had and handed them over to the border guards of the National Guard.”
The French embassy in Tunisia said in a statement, of which Anadolu had a copy, that the French nationals were “members of the protection team that provides security protection to the French ambassador in Libya.”
In contrast, Tunisian outlets reported that the French were advisers of Field Marshal Haftar in the city of Gharyan.
Separately, an opinion piece published by the Washington Post alleged that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind Haftar’s “sudden” decision to “cleanse Tripoli of terrorists.” Other parties that were to blame include Egypt, the UAE and Russia.
“In the past few days, the answer has gradually become clear: His offensive has been egged on and materially supported by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. These Arab governments and Russia have deliberately sabotaged an international effort that had the support of the European Union, the African Union and the United States, in addition to U.N. Secretary General António Guterres.”
At the UN Security Council, AFP reportedly obtained a text of a British-drafted resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya.
The proposed measure said the offensive by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) “threatens the stability of Libya and prospects for a United Nations-facilitated political dialogue and a comprehensive political solution to the crisis.”
The council “demands that all parties in Libya immediately de-escalate the situation, commit to a ceasefire, and engage with the United Nations to ensure a full and comprehensive cessation of hostilities throughout Libya.”
There is no official confirmation of such a UNSC draft resolution as of mid-day on April 17th.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Photo: Tactical Pool Shoes – Secret Weapon Of Pro-GNA Forces In Battle For Tripoli
- Haftar Forces Stalled South Of Tripoli. GNA Fighters Shot Down LNA Warplane
- LNA Advance On Tripoli At Stalemate. Airstrikes And Propaganda Claims Are On Rise