Heavy overnight shelling of residential areas in Tripoli fighting – acknowledged by both sides

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 17 April 2019:

Tripoli experienced a third night of shelling last night as missiles, reported by both sides as Grad, fell on a number of residential areas including the Abu Sleem (Busleem) and Salah Al-Deen districts.

In the huge and ever-escalating (mis) information war, both sides in the Tripoli fighting acknowledged the falling of missiles on residential areas – but blamed them on each other.

Abu Sleem Municipality reported that the multiple missiles fell on the Hay Al-Intisar and Salah Al-Deen districts. It reported 4 deaths and more than 26 casualties. It said 7 are critical and 4 suffered amputations.

The night attack led to a spontaneous demonstration by Tripoli residents in the small hours of this morning in condemnation of the attack on defenceless residents in their homes. There were demonstrations in Misrata and Zuwara too.

Presidency Council and Government of National Accord (PC/GNA) head, Faiez Serraj, paid a visit early this morning to one of the bombed residential sites in Abu Sleem. He blamed and condemned Khalifa Hafter for the action.

‘‘The barbaric brutality committed by the criminal (Khalifa) Haftar on the Abu Sleem and Al-Intisar neighbourhoods confirms his (Hafter’s) brutality’’, Serraj told media at the bombed residential site early this morning.

He vowed that ‘‘Deeds like this is are not commited by someone who has an atom of humanity. But we assure everyone that he will receive his punishment’’.

‘‘Tomorrow all documents will be presented to the International Criminal Court as a war criminal, for war crimes, for crimes against humanity. We assure all that as the sons of Libyan society we will stand steadfast in the face of this criminal, God willing, no matter how long. The Security Council in session now: look what this criminal is doing.

We hold the Security Council and the international community responsible for the legal and humanitarian responsibility to hold this criminal to account, and God willing, Libyan society is in solidarity. We salute our sons in the battlefields for defending their just cause, the cause of establishing a civilian state in which the Libyan citizen enjoys security and stability, and the fairness of his cause.We fight for a fair cause, and God willing, we will win, and he will be punished’’, concluded Serraj.

Serraj’s government then announced three days of mourning for the overnight civilian deaths.

Meanwhile, the Hafter camp has reported that pro-Serraj jets had bombed non-military locations in the Gharian and the central Libyan town of Houn. Houn lies in the strategic crossroads of logistics and supply lines from the east to western Libya. If confirmed the fighter jet attacks can be seen as an attempt to cut off supplies to Hafter’s forces at the frontline.

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