Libya: Haftar continues Tripoli assault amid pandemic
As global death toll from coronavirus now tops 16,563, Libya has not recorded any infection from the disease
The militias of renegade Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar are violating Libya's cease-fire deal as the world is busy with the coronavirus outbreak, a Libyan political analyst warned on Tuesday.
"Haftar's forces are unable to advance on the ground and his warplanes have become ineffective since Turkey helped the Government of National Accord (GNA) to set up anti-aircraft batteries," Salah al-Bakkush told Anadolu Agency.
He said Haftar's forces turned to shelling Tripoli's Mitiga airport and residential neighborhoods in the capital.
"As the world is busy with an unprecedented pandemic, the UN mission in Libya is now ineffective [after resignation of UN envoy Ghassan Salame] and as Haftar, Egypt and UAE believe that there is a military solution to the conflict, the situation is likely to escalate in the coming period," al-Bakkush said.
As the global death toll from coronavirus now tops 16,563, Libya has not recorded any infection from the disease.
The Libyan analyst said that "Haftar has never respected the cease-fire at any stage".
On March 21, Ahmed al-Mismari, spokesman for Haftar’s militias, announced that his side welcomed a humanitarian ceasefire proposed by the UN and European countries due to the novel coronavirus.
The militias, however, have continued their attacks.
On Tuesday, Haftar forces killed two girls in an artillery attack in southern Tripoli, according to a GNA official.
Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 people killed in the violence.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.