By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 28 August 2014:
Five days ago, the fighting in Tripoli which had lasted for six weeks, between the two . . .[restrict]militia, suddenly came to a halt. It is reported that the Zintani-led militias suddenly withdrew south from their positions in Tripoli on the Airport Road, at the Airport and in Swani Road.
Tripoli has been relatively calm since which has enabled many residents to return to their homes and properties in the previous fighting zones.
Libya Herald took a drive yesterday and today through some parts of Airport Road, Sidi Sleem Road, Swani Road, Heir to the Throne Road (near the US embassy compound), Church Road, and Samba Street in Kremia wholesale market.
Church road was an important clash point as the Misrata-led militias coming from Janzour through Sirraj took the Church Road short cut to Swani Road in an attempt to dislodge the Zintani-led militias from their 7th April barracks, on Swani Road right next to the Swani road Church.
The Heir to the Throne road was another strategic road that was fought over by the two opposing militia blocs as it leads from the Airport road to Swani road and onto 7th April barracks occupied by the Zintani led forces.
The tower blocks off Airport road, near the metal bridge, suffered considerable damage as for a long time it was the north-south demarcation line between the two militia zones. The Zintani-led militias controlled the Airport road from the Ministry of Interior at the metal bridge all the way to the airport, while the Misrata-led bloc controlled the Airport road from the metal bridge into town.
A building is completely destroyed on Church road.
The tower blocks on Airport road, near the metal bridge, were allegedly used as high positions from which to shoot at advancing militias. They consequently became targets.
The newly built glass-clad commercial building sustained considerable damage as it is located immediately opposite the Swani Road Church and the previously Zintani occupied 7th April barracks – on Swani road.
In the background smoke can be seen from the fire at Tripoli’s main Fuel Depot on Airport road.
Both sets of militias put up a large number of barricades along many roads on Airport road and Swani road as well as many other side roads leading to them from Sirraj, Hadba, Njila, Kremia etc.
The smoke from Tripoli’s main fuel depot on Airport road is still burning and the thick black smoke can be seen from many parts of Tripoli.
The huge fuel tankers at Brega Depot, Airport road, supplying all of Greater Tripoli with vehicle fuel and cooking gas, were one of the main casualties of Tripoli’s militia war.
The tour of the fighting zones did not include Sirraj, Janzour or Njila, which are believed to have suffered much damage. Nor the outer fighting areas of Qaser Ben Ghasheer or Wadi Rabea.