Almost a hundred militiamen killed in the worst combat of the year in Libya



Nearly a hundred militiamen from both rival governments died today in the bloodiest combat of the year in Libya, fought on the strategic coastal road in the center of the country despite the "humanitarian truce" accepted last Sunday by the contenders at the request of the UN to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The fighting broke out shortly after dawn when fighter jets under the command of Marshal Jalifa Hafter, an unrecognized government guardian in the east and a strong man in Libya, attacked a military convoy akin to the UN-held Executive in Tripoli (GNA) when he was apparently leaving the city-state of Misrata for the battlefront.

Security sources from the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), the force related to Hafter, explained that the air units launched a total of three "coordinated and precise" attacks against the alleged war column because they considered that it "was directed at Al Heisha and and the Zamzam valley to attack us. "

The bombing took place in the vicinity of Abu Qurayn, a strategically abandoned village located on the great highway that runs along the entire Libyan coast and which is located halfway between the city of Sirte and Misrata, the main and almost only local ally of the GNA, he claimed.

MORE THAN FIFTY DEAD

Security officials from the aforementioned government in Tripoli assured Efe that 31 of their militiamen died in the bombing and more than seventy suffered wounds of various kinds.

"The fighting began in response to repeated attacks by Haftar forces and their disrespect for all international conventions. Our forces responded and destroyed two Emirati armor, five military vehicles, and an ammunition depot of enemy forces, which they withdrew, "he said.

"We have information that confirms that a total of 60 corpses of Hafter soldiers have been transferred today to the Ibn Sina hospital in the Sirte region," added the source, a figure that has not been confirmed or denied to date by the LNA. , who does not usually report neither his own losses nor those of the enemy.

The GNA also denounced several aerial attacks by rival forces in areas of the southern belt of Tripoli, an area of ​​high strategic value crucial for the conquest of the capital.

And I assure you that Hafter's forces that fought in the post-bombing battle in the town of Kadahiya and others in the western suburbs of Sirte included "Janjaweed" mercenaries, a Sudanese Arab militia linked to former President Omar Hasan al Bachir at the who is accused of war crimes in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

A WAR OF MERCENARIES

The civil war that has bloody Libya since the failed peace process imposed by the UN in 2015, intensified on April 4, the date on which Hafter ordered the siege of the capital with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on an official visit to the city, in a clear message to the international community.

Since then, it has turned into a privatized mercenary war, in which around 1,700 people have died - more than 300 civilians -, 15,000 more have been injured and more than 130,000 citizens have been forced to leave their homes and become in internally displaced persons.

The marshal, who controls most of the oil reserves in Libya and almost the entire national territory, has the economic and military backing of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates - countries that provide him with mercenaries, weapons and superiority. aerial- and with the political endorsement of France and the United States.

The GNA receives economic and military aid from Qatar, Turkey and Italy, in addition to the powerful city-state of Misrata, and it barely dominates the capital and some western populations with the complicity of Salafist militias and different warlords.

SYRIAN MERCENARIES

In this context, General Ahmad al-Mismari, spokesman for the LNA, assured in a press conference that the operations in the last hours "have allowed his forces to conquer the towns of al-Assah, al-Jameel, Riqdalin and Zaltan controlled by the GNA and its Syrian mercenaries. They have been released from the terrorist yoke. "

This week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that 151 Syrian mercenaries recruited by Turkey have died in the past three months of fighting in Libya.

Many of those mercenaries have traveled directly from Turkey to Misrata and Tripoli on direct private flights, but many more have also traveled through Tunisia, a country that today announced a reinforcement of its porous border.

Contacted by Efe, the spokesman for the Tunisian Ministry of Defense, Commander Mohamed Zekri, assured that the "situation is stable and that the reinforcement at the border is part of the ordinary monitoring."

Zekri declined to offer any statement regarding some information published by the local press, however, indicating that the LNA would have advanced significantly to the west and would have already taken control of the Ras Jedir (south) border post, after the local guard will flee.

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