Africa

After clashes, cautious calm prevails in Libyan capital

Sporadic fighting continues, however, in and around Tripoli’s international airport

Walid Abdullah   | 16.05.2019
After clashes, cautious calm prevails in Libyan capital

TRIPOLI

For the past three days, cautious calm has prevailed on Tripoli’s southern outskirts following earlier clashes between Libya’s rival political camps.

Limited clashes, however, continue to break out sporadically, especially in and around Tripoli’s international airport, which remains held by forces loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar.

On Wednesday, aircraft affiliated with Haftar’s forces reportedly carried out airstrikes in the city of Gharyan (some 100 kilometers south of the capital) without causing casualties.

Early last month, Haftar, who commands forces loyal to a government based in the country’s east, launched a major campaign to capture Tripoli, where Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.

After more than a month of fighting on Tripoli’s outskirts, however, Haftar's campaign has failed to achieve its primary objective.

Nevertheless, Haftar’s forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.

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