Libya: Tit-for-Tat Attacks on Aircraft - The Libyan Report

Libya: Tit-for-Tat Attacks on Aircraft

Libya: Tit-for-Tat Attacks on Aircraft

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Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, (File photo: Reuters)

Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud

Heavy clashes erupted Wednesday in the town of Azizia, 40 km south of Tripoli, amid tit-for-tat downing of aircraft between forces of Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libya’s National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar.

Commander of the “Volcano of Rage” operations room, Major General Ahmed Abu Shahma, said the forces had downed an LNA warplane, west of Sabratha after it tried to land in al-Watiya airbase.

Abu Shahma indicated that they targeted Haftar's forces on al-Tawaisha and Qasir Benghashir front-lines, adding that the forces also clashed with a number of Russian mercenaries on al-Azizia front-line.

Meanwhile, Media Center of the LNA's Dignity Operations Room said it defenses shot down a reconnaissance plane in al-Azizia, stressing that the airforce launched strikes to target militias in the vicinity of Gharyan and Azizia front.

The Center described statements of GNA forces about its victory in Tripoli as “mere fabrications,” asserting that their defeat is evident.

The statement noted that Dignity Operations' forces are stationed on all axes and continue to advance.

In other news, the head of GNA Fayez al-Sarraj demanded that all countries concerned with Libyan affairs, without any exclusion, should be invited to the conference that Germany plans to host for a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis.

According to a statement distributed by his office, Sarraj held a meeting with the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame, and his deputy for political affairs, Ambassador Stephanie Williams, during which they discussed the ongoing consultations to hold a conference in Berlin.

Sarraj also reiterated his determination to defeat the “aggression”, uphold national constants, and commit to building a democratic civil state. He also stressed the need to hold perpetrators responsible for war crimes and human rights violations against civilians.

UNSMIL announced that Salame and Williams visited Sarraj to discuss the latest developments in Libya.

“Salame briefed Serraj on the Mission’s efforts to stop the war & resume the political process as the only means to solve Libya's crisis.”

For his part, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said his special representative Salame is working with all local, regional, and international partners to prevent an escalation of violence and support the return to the political process in the country.

In other news, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Yacoub El-Hillo, strongly condemned all attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Libya.

Two days ago, air strikes injured several children at the Equestrian Club in the Janzour neighborhood of Tripoli. The following day, a field hospital in Gaser Ben Gasher neighborhood was attacked, resulting in the death of one doctor and injury of two paramedics.

Hillo stressed that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure violate international humanitarian law.

He urged international parties with influence in Libya to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and to do everything possible to protect civilians, especially children. source