7 April 2019 Haftar’s eastern Libyan forces attack Tripoli

On 3 April, commander of the forces in eastern Libya, General Khalifa Haftar, ordered them to march on the capital Tripoli, the base of the internationally recognized government ruled by PM Fayez Al-Serraj. Moving towards the capital from several directions, Haftar’s armed forces entered the town of Gharyan (80km south of Tripoli) and claimed to have carried out air strikes against the only functioning airport in Libyan Capital on 8 April. On the same day, the confrontation reached the district of Khalat Furgan, 11 km away from the city center of Tripoli. PM Al-Serraj had vowed on Saturday to respond with “force and determination” to the attack by the LNA, counting on militias from the capital and by other groups and brigades from the city of Misrata. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that was in Libya in order to endorse the UN-led peace process left Libya declaring that he is “deeply concerned by the military movement taking place in Libya and the risk of confrontation”. The UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salamé ensured that the peace conference scheduled in Ghadames on 14-16 April will be held “unless compelling circumstances force us not to”. The attack on Tripoli came after Haftar’s latest visit to Saudi Arabia, where Libyan Brigadier General Mohammad Al-Qunidi, claims that King Salman “gave Haftar the green light for his attack and supplied him with money in order to take over the west of Libya”, reads Middle East Monitor. The G7 countries and the European Union during a meeting in Dinard (France), urged “the parties involved in the operation to immediately cease fire and military movements toward Tripoli” in a common joint statement.