Eastern Libyan military says controls former Tripoli airport

A spokesman said eastern Libyan forces seized the Tripoli International Airport seen from the front on Friday

A spokesman said eastern Libyan forces seized the Tripoli International Airport seen from the front on Friday

Libya edged closer to full-blown civil war on Friday as forces of an eastern commander clashed with pro-government militias near the capital, Tripoli, and an effort by the United Nations chief failed to stop the offensive.

The leader of forces in eastern Libya has ordered them to march on the capital Tripoli, the base of the internationally recognised government.

Hifter's forces, which calls itself the Libyan National Army, pushed forward toward the capital and clashed with militias who support the United Nations -installed and Western-backed government.

But on Thursday, LNA forces took Gharyan, about 80 kilometres south of Tripoli, after skirmishes with forces allied to Tripoli-based, UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

"We reiterate our full and united support to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Special Representative of the Secretary General Ghassan Salamé as the UN seeks to help Libyans overcome Libya's political stalemate, and help Libyans chart a path toward credible and peaceful elections as soon as possible, as agreed by the Libyan parties in Paris in May 2018 and in Palermo in November 2018".

"My aim remains the same: avoid a military confrontation", Guterres earlier said on Twitter.

There were conflicting reports that Gen Haftar's forces had entered the town of Gharyan, 100km (60 miles) south of Tripoli. He said five of his troops had been killed. The LNA said in the evening it had taken control of Tripoli's airport.

The UN Security Council on Friday called on Libyan forces under Khalifa Haftar to halt their advance on Tripoli, warning the military move was putting Libya's stability at risk.

There are now reports troops have taken the capital's airport, which has been closed since 2014 - although these are disputed.

In another setback, forces allied to Tripoli took 145 LNA fighters prisoner in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, a western commander, MohamedAlhudair, told Reuters.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME Tracking for Possible Record Setting Domestic Debut
Are you only looking for four opening night tickets? I would rather buy Avengers merchandises and set up my own universe. Meanwhile, tickets for Avengers: Endgame went live on Tuesday and as expected, there was a virtual stampede for tickets.

After Gen Haftar's announcement, his forces moved towards the capital from several directions, one of his spokesmen said.

The offensive is a setback for the United Nations and Western nations trying to mediate between Serraj, 59, who comes from a wealthy business family, and military veteran Haftar.

They met in Abu Dhabi last month to discuss power-sharing.

The UAE, however, joined Western countries in expressing its deep concern about the fighting.

Russian Federation said it was not helping Haftar's forces and that it supported a negotiated political settlement that ruled out any new bloodshed.

"We need to throw water on the fire, not petrol on the fire".

Fearing a spillover of refugees, neighboring Tunisia has tightened its control over its border, said its defense ministry.

Former colonial power Italy, which lies across the Mediterranean and has been a destination for migrants, was very anxious, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said.

"The U.N.is committed to facilitating a political solution and, whatever happens, the U.N.is committed to supporting the Libyan people", said Guterres in his tweet.

Recommended News

  • Pixel 4 name dropped by Google employee, launch soon?

    Pixel 4 name dropped by Google employee, launch soon?

    Back in October, Verizon officially ended sales of the smaller variant upon the announcement of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Most recently, for example, the phones joined the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL by offering the first public taste of Android Q.
    ISPR releases 'proof' further contradicting Indian claim of shooting down F-16

    ISPR releases 'proof' further contradicting Indian claim of shooting down F-16

    Pakistan had categorically said that no F-16 fighter jets were used and denied that one of its planes had been downed by the IAF . Narang told Foreign Policy , "As details come out, it looks worse and worse for the Indians".
    Liverpool top £261 million EPL splurge on agents

    Liverpool top £261 million EPL splurge on agents

    I don't like that, to be fair - we are Chelsea , and it is a big derby against them - but we have to accept it. I honestly would be very surprised if they sailed through all of those games and win them all.
  • Lara Trump: Timing of Joe Biden accusations seems 'very convenient'

    Lara Trump: Timing of Joe Biden accusations seems 'very convenient'

    Biden, 76, faces headwinds for being part of the old guard and out of step with the party's progressive and socialist movement. He put out a statement, followed by a video statement, explaining that making people uncomfortable was "never his intention".
    Knights snap five-game skid with win over Oilers

    Knights snap five-game skid with win over Oilers

    Koskinen made 28 saves and Connor McDavid tied a career best with his 41st goal for Edmonton. "I don't know", McDavid replied. It was his 25th goal. "Tonight was a ideal game, for me, going down the stretch", Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said.
    EU Orders UK to Recover Illegal Tax Aid From Multinationals

    EU Orders UK to Recover Illegal Tax Aid From Multinationals

    Such an exemption is justified because it avoids "complex and disproportionately burdensome" procedures, the Commission argued. The Commission said this was only justified if the finance profits did not come from British activities.
  • WhatsApp Business launches on iPhones

    WhatsApp Business launches on iPhones

    The Facebook-owned messaging app is expanding with the WhatsApp Business app for iOS users, according to a Thursday blog post. WhatsApp Business app is finally available for iPhone users in India.
    New Mclaren Grand Tourer teased in photos

    New Mclaren Grand Tourer teased in photos

    Particularly when interested buyers are said to be existing customers who have praised the 570GT's touring abilities. Overall, the shape appears more focused on elegance, compared to the "noisier" look of the 570S and 720S.
    Rare glimpse into Saudi Aramco Reveals $111 billion Gain

    Rare glimpse into Saudi Aramco Reveals $111 billion Gain

    As per the investor presentation, the SABIC acquisition would be having no impact on the rating of Aramco. Aramco will start meeting worldwide bond investors this week for the much anticipated debt transaction.
  • Avicii's first posthumous track to drop next week

    Avicii's first posthumous track to drop next week

    When Tim Bergling, the Swedish DJ more popularly known as Avicii , died previous year , he apparently left a lot of music behind.
    Muted growth prompts RBI to cut key lending rate to 6%

    Muted growth prompts RBI to cut key lending rate to 6%

    The central bank kept the policy stance unchanged while the repo rate became 6 per cent from 6.25 per cent earlier. The central bank is due to release its first bi-monthly policy statement for financial year 2019-20 at 11.45 am.
    Trump Says China Trade Talks Going Well, Will Only Accept 'Great' Deal

    Trump Says China Trade Talks Going Well, Will Only Accept 'Great' Deal

    He also vowed to eliminate the United States' chronic trade deficit with China, yet saw it climb to a record US$419.2b in 2018. China wants the tariffs lifted, while US officials are wary of giving up that leverage, at least for now.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.