By Sami Zaptia.
London, 19 June 2019:
The World Health Organization reported on Monday that 691 people, including 41 civilians, have died in the Tripoli fighting that started on 4 April. It reported 4,012 wounded which included 135 civilians.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Gnunu, the Official Spokesperson for the Tripoli aligned forces, reported yesterday that their Air Force had carried out 15 airstrikes on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Most of the airstrikes were conducted yesterday.
Gnunu said the strikes targeted the positions of the ‘‘war criminal’s militias’’ (Hafter) in the vicinity of the Wadi Rabea, south of Tripoli, the disused Tripoli International Airport, the vicinity of Gharian and positions inside Gharian.
He revealed that the latest combat sorties targeted supplies of ammunition, military materiel and fuel which were on their way to Hafter’s forces stationed in Gharian.
The claimed increase in airstrikes by the Tripoli aligned forces could be one reason why the pro Hafter forces have failed to make any real progress on the ground towards Tripoli.
Meanwhile, both sides continue to say they are making progress around the old disused Tripoli International Airport and both sides claim they have succeeded in repelling attempted ground advances by the other side.
The fighting on the ground seems to be continuing in total oblivion to the Faiez Serraj peace initiative announced last Sunday. The initiative received the support of UNSMIL and the EU. Indeed, Serraj himself met with all his aligned commanders on Saturday where he adopted a ‘‘new phase of the plan to confront Hafter’s forces’’ and ordered ‘‘the reinforcement’’ of aligned forces with ‘‘all the requirements of the operations’’.