By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 2 August 2014:
As the 152* (out of a total of 188) House of Representatives members successfully held a . . .[restrict]”consultative” meeting in the eastern city of Tobruk earlier today, fighting was renewed and projectiles continued to fall indiscriminately in various residential areas of Tripoli.
Reports are sketchy, and roads to conflict areas are either blocked by barriers or manned by armed personnel. A relative of this writer was forced back by gun fire when attempting to drive to their farm in Kremia. The metal bridge at Airport Road was closed and so was Swani Road, and Drebi. He was forced to turn back to town centre.
Meanwhile, cat and mouse fighting intensified intermittently today in Hay Alakouakh at the metal bridge area of Airport Road, Kremia, Busleem, Drebi, Kishlaf, and Sirraj. On the other hand, Sug il Juma, Salah Al-Deen and Hay Al-Andulous reported the fall of variously described projectiles ether off target or targeting their opponents’ positions.
At the time of writing, no injuries or deaths were reported with the projectiles causing damage to buildings and a car. However, the sound of and effect of indiscriminately falling projectiles are slowly but surely increasing the fear and terror levels of Tripolitanians.
Both sides constantly and prematurely announce their progress and victory. However, with no independent or verifiable evidence available, and with no information forthcoming from the government, it seems that a stalemate is the best and most accurate description of events. If the strategic aim of the Misrata-led Islamists’ preemptive strike was to gain control of Tripoli International Airport, at the time of writing, this seems to have failed.
The militias’ tactic within residential areas of Tripoli seems to be to launch projectiles and then quickly move positions. It seems that both sides are not hesitating to seek shelter in residential areas nor using civilian areas as shields.
Residents living behind the Fuel Depots have reported to Libya Herald that they have been forced out of their homes on the pretext of their own security. Militias and opportunist thieves have been accused of taking advantage of this vacuum to rob property and possessions. Many residents in the affected areas have fled their homes seeking alternate refuge with friends and relatives.
Both the outgoing GNC and the Caretaker government of Abdullah Thinni seem impotent to do anything to stop the paralysis, terror and destruction of Tripoli which continues to suffer rotational electricity cuts leading to internet cuts, as well as cooking gas and petrol and diesel shortages.
Equally, today’s renewed and widespread fighting seems to also prove that all and various attempts at mediation and ceasefire – have failed miserably.
All Libyan eyes and hopes have now turned firmly in the direction of the newly elected House of Representatives – slated to meet officially on Monday 4 August. Where they will meet is still not clear as the political tug of war continues between them and the outgoing GNC leadership.
GNC head Nuri Abusahmain has called for the handover meeting to be held in Tripoli, meanwhile his successor and temporary head of the House of Representatives Abubaker Baera has invited the GNC members to attend Monday’s handover in Tobruk.
* Reports of the turnout for the House of Representatives meeting in Tobruk have varied from 153 to over 16o, depending on various sources. We have used what is quoted on the House of Representatives Facebook page.