Libyan capital Tripoli witnessed renewed skirmishes between armed militias that fired both medium and light weapons. Clashes coincided with Libyan Army Chief Khalifa Hafter’s visit to Russian capital Moscow.
Heading a senior military delegation to Moscow, Hafter discussed the development in Libya with senior Russian officials. He also met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and discussed ways to resolve the Libyan crisis and fight terrorism.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has already confirmed that Hafter will attend the Palermo conference.
Conte reiterated that it will be a “Conference for Libya and not on Libya”, based on two fundamental principles, such as full respect for the assumption of responsibility on the Libyan side and the inclusiveness of the process, which is part of the path traced from the United Nations plan.
In the meantime, security sources and local residents reported on sporadic and limited clashes near Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport.
An official Mitiga Airport spokesperson denied that the airport had been hit by any shelling or having witnessed armed confrontations, saying that what happened was a ”misunderstanding” which was quickly contained.
The spokesperson stressed that the situation remains stable around airport grounds.
But despite these assurances, eyewitnesses and media reports of a sudden security alert in Tripoli, warning gunshots were heard around the airport before a cautious calm returned.
On the other hand, Head of the United Nation Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salame conducted a visit to Al-Jalaa Hospital in Tripoli following the recent attack.
Salame confirmed during the visit his strong condemnation of all attacks on medical facilities and spent time with the staff to listen to their complaints.
He also called on the government of the Presidential Council (PC) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj to take urgent measures, in order to provide security and important supplies to improve the situation of hospitals across Libya, stressing the importance of protecting all those practicing this noble profession, as he put it.