There was an RPG attack on the Hay Demashque security point manned by Ghnewa Kikli’s Support and Stability personnel yesterday. The very loud bang was heard clearly by this reporter.
There are also reports that there were, in fact, deaths from both sides at Monday night’s Sreem Street attack.
The Hay Demashue location is right next to Libya Herald’s office. The attack took place after six pm and just before the breaking of the Ramadan fast at 7.32.
The RPG was fired from Tripoli’s main motorway overhead, that runs through Hay Demashque. It would have given the assailants a perfect vantage point, looking down on the Support and Stability security point.
The loud RPG bang was followed by the sound of return gunfire and screeching of car wheels as Support and Stability personnel attempted to make their way to the motorway entrance to chase the attackers. The motorway entrance is a bout one kilometre away opposite the Alkhadra hospital.
In any event, no casualties were reported and there was no visible collateral evidence this morning.
There is no hard evidence, but sources close to Support and Stability say it is taken for granted by Support and Stability personnel that the RPG attack was a revenge attack by the Nawasi brigade for the Sreem Street attack the previous night.
The fact that there is now news that there were deaths at Monday’s attack could explain the Hay Demashque attack.
There is still no clear explanation for the Sreem attack in which at least two security vehicles were destroyed.
Deaths at Sreem Street attack?
It is now believed that the reason why there was such a huge security cordon around Sreem Street was to prevent the leaking of the news that there were deaths from both sides. Sources say militia leaders were keen to dampen emotions and avoid a full-scale eruption between Tripoli militias.
Tripoli militias, or their leaders at any rate, are keen to show that they are as reliable as a classic police and army. They are also vulnerable at this time to the destabilising effect of a Bashagha government. They do not want to show rifts and fissures that may encourage pro Bashagha – or any other – militias from attempting to enter Tripoli or reduce their power and influence.
The Aldabaiba v Bashagha factor
It will be recalled that parliament has appointed a new Prime Minister, former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha. However, incumbent Prime Minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba questions the validity of Bashagha’s appointment and refuses to hand over power. It is feared that militias supporting the respective prime ministers could clash in Tripoli or that Bashagha could try to take office by force using militias from within and without Tripoli.
No use of force
Bashagha has repeatedly vowed that he will not use force to gain office. Aldabaiba has also vowed that there will be no war in Tripoli this Ramadan – unlike previous Ramadans when Tripoli was at war with Khalifa Hafter.