Four killed in bombardment of Tripoli amid international split over Haftar attack

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — At least four people have been killed in heavy bombardment of the Libyan capital Tripoli, as Europe and the Gulf countries were divided over the campaign by Libyan leader Lt. Gen. Khalifa Haftar to take control of Tripoli, an official said on Wednesday.

Nearly two weeks after the start of the Libyan National Army’s offensive against Tripoli, its forces are still stuck on its southern outskirts where armed groups loyal to the internationally recognized government of Tripoli are facing.

But the southern neighborhood of Abu Salim was bombed late on Tuesday when explosions were heard even from the center of the city, where life goes largely unnoticed by violence.

“The bombardment killed at least two people and wounded eight,” said Osama Ali, spokesman for the emergency agency in Tripoli, without specifying who was behind the bombing. Another official in the Libyan television channel Al Ahrar said four people were killed and 20 wounded.

The neighborhood is located near the road to the old airport south of Tripoli, which has been under control several times since the fighting began. Abu Salim is located north of the forces loyal to Tripoli, which seeks to counter the forces of the Libyan National Army coming from the south.

Troops allied with Tripoli accused the Libyan National Army of firing rockets into residential areas, but the Libyan National Army said in a statement it had nothing to do with the bombing and blamed a Tripoli-based group.

While the rockets fell, the UN Security Council was to consider a draft resolution drafted by Britain calling for a ceasefire in Libya and calling on all countries with influence over the warring parties to ensure compliance.

Foreign powers are concerned but unable to adopt a united stance on the latest renewal of political chaos and fighting that engulfed Libya after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The conflict has so far killed 174 people, injured 756 others, uprooted up to 20,000 according to the latest UN statistics and delayed an international peace plan.

The conflict also threatens to disrupt oil supplies, increase the number of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe and allow militants to exploit the chaos.

Qatar said the UN arms embargo on Libya should be tightened to prevent a 75-year-old from harvesting weapons.

Haftar, who is based in Benghazi, is backed by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. They see it as capable of restoring stability in the country and confronting Islamic militants.

The three countries severed ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing them of backing militants and Iran.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani told Italy’s La Repubblica daily that another date should be set for the United Nations peace conference in Libya, which was postponed and the forces of Hafer were forced to withdraw.

The arms embargo should be implemented “to prevent those countries providing ammunition and the latest weapons from continuing to do so.”

According to previous reports of the United Nations that the UAE and Egypt extended Hafter arms and aircraft, which gave him aerial superiority over the various Libyan factions. The authorities in eastern Libya say that Qatar and Turkey are supporting rival factions with Islamic orientation in western Libya.

* Divisions in Europe

Diplomatic divisions in the Gulf are similar to divisions in Europe, where Italy, the former colonial power of Libya, takes a stand against France.

France has supported Hafater in the past and has vowed to end the chaos that has engulfed Libya since an uprising supported by NATO to end Gaddafi’s four-decade rule.

Italy, which has major oil interests in Libya, supports the Tripoli government headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, expressing anger at France’s unwillingness to support a recent EU decision and calling for Hafer to stop his march into the capital.

But al-Sarraj succeeded in curbing Libya’s national army, thanks in large part to the support of armed groups for his support. These groups belong to other factions in western Libya.

“The war ends with the withdrawal of these forces (the Libyan National Army) and their return from where they came,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Although Hafez presents himself as a warrior for what he calls terrorism, his opponents see a dictator like Qaddafi. About 70 people protested against a hole in Algiers Square in central Tripoli on Tuesday.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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