A week of heavy fighting in the Libyan capital of Tripoli grew substantially Wednesday and into Thursday, with both sides bringing tanks in, and locals reporting heavy tank-fire heard across the city.
Reports are that the invading Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa
Hafter is no more than seven miles from the city’s center at this point,
while unity government PM Fayez Sarraj has issued a call for all Libyan
armed forces to mobilize. He also urged locals to fight to defend
Tripoli from the Hafter coup.
Indications are that this call to arms was answered chiefly by the
Misrata militias, who arrived in force in Tripoli and were firing Grad
rockets at the LNA forces to keep them from advancing any further.
It’s not clear how this fighting is all going to end, as the LNA does
not appear to have the force to take the city outright, but Hafter is
unlikely to quit the offensive without some new concessions to
strengthen his position.
Hafter doesn’t even necessarily have to “win” the fight militarily, as
even being present around Tripoli and causing trouble has put UN efforts
to hold new reconciliation conferences on hold, and similarly forced
Sarraj to scale back diplomatic efforts and focus on just keeping
control of as much of the city as he can.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz