By Sami Zaptia.
London, 20 July 2019:
The internationally recognized Libyan Presidency Council and Government of National Accord, led by Faiez Serraj, today assured of its forces’s “readiness to deter and defeat” any new aggression on Tripoli.
The announcement by Tripoli comes on the back of reports that the Khalifa Hafter-led Libyan National Army (LNA) and their aligned force are preparing to escalate the Tripoli fighting with what they had referred to as the “second wave” attack on Tripoli.
These included reports that new forces from other Libyan cities and from eastern Libya were heading to the Tripoli battlegrounds, as well as reports that Hafter’s international allies, Egypt, UAE and France, were to increase their support for Hafter.
Hafter’s critics say that the UAE’s withdrawal from the war in Yemen was in order to ratchet up its participation in the Tripoli fighting.
The Tripoli government says that these newly planned attacks intend to include air strikes on vital utilities in Tripoli, including Mitiga airport – Tripoli’s only functioning airport.
Tripoli’s government said that it was following these reports with concern and called on UNSMIL and the international community to accept their responsibilities over what the “aggressive militias” (Hafter’s forces) plan to conduct in escalation and targeting of civilians.
It called for effective action to halt this aggression and and what it will cause of Libyan bloodletting and destruction of civilian infrastructure, and the prolonging of the war and the suffering of Libyan civilians.