The Libyan Army behind the United Nations (UN)-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has declared total war against the opposition forces battling to overthrow the government. Accordingly, the Army of the Libyan government has reiterated commitment to reclaim all areas conquered by forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar.
The Army, therefore, declared a counteroffensive to defend Tripoli, and overrun forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar, who have been advancing on the outskirts of Tripoli.
Colonel Mohamed Gnounou told reporters in Tripoli that the counteroffensive, tagged – Volcano of Anger – was aimed at “purging all Libyan cities of aggressor and illegitimate forces”.
The announcement came as Haftar’s forces said they conducted the first air raid on a Tripoli suburb as part of their aim to overthrow the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and take control of Tripoli.
The alleged attack came after GNA forces launched air raids on Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) around 50km south of Tripoli on Saturday, reportedly killing one person.
The health ministry of the UN-backed Libyan government said in Tripoli that clashes in the southern part of Tripoli resulted in the death of 11 persons and 23 wounded.
Meanwhile, the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) made an “urgent appeal” for a two-hour truce in the southern suburbs to evacuate the wounded and civilians caught in the fighting.
“[UNSMIL calls on] all armed parties in the Wadi Rabi area, Al-Kayekh, Gasr Ben Ghachir and Al-Aziziya to respect a humanitarian truce [between 14:00 and 16:00 GMT] to secure the evacuation of wounded and civilians by rescue teams and the Libyan Red Crescent.”
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who spoke to UN special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, said Europe’s message should be for “a full implementation of the humanitarian truce … and to avoid any further military action and escalation and a return to the political track”.