Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Cautious Calm Returns to Libya's Tripoli After Heavy Clashes

Cautious Calm Returns to Libya's Tripoli After Heavy Clashes

Sunday, 7 August, 2022 - 06:15
Forces loyal to the Dbeibeh government in the streets of Tripoli (Reuters)

Cautious calm returned to the Libyan capital hours after the militias affiliated with the interim government, headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, thwarted the second failed attempt of militias linked with the government of his rival Fathi Bashagha to control Tripoli.

Video footage showed that the battles ended temporarily, and militias left the airport road and surrounding areas.

Clashes erupted near the Islamic Call association's headquarters between Major General Osama al-Juwaili militias affiliated with Bashagha, and the "Mobile National Force" loyal to the Dbeibeh government.

After hours of heavy fighting, the Dbeibeh militia managed to confront the attack of the Juwaili militias, which sought to control Abdul Rahim al-Rumaih's base.

Local media broadcast footage of the withdrawal of the Juwaili militia after the "444th Brigade", affiliated with Dbeibeh, intervened following mediation to end the clashes.

In a video, military units at the Rumaih's base denied that the Juwaili militia had taken control of the headquarters, while the "Mobile Force" said it countered the attack.

Residents and activists reported that a drone flew over the al-Sarraj and Ain Zara areas in Tripoli.

There was no immediate response from the Presidential Council, led by Mohammed al-Menfi, or Dbeibeh or Bashagha governments about the clashes.

Sources reported the death of a militant and injury of four others, noting that a retail store was burnt to the ground in the Edraiby area.

This is the second attempt of the militias loyal to the Bashaga government to gain a strategic foothold in the capital, which the Dbeibeh government controls.

Dbeibeh asserted that it would only concede power to a cabinet elected by the people.

Bashagha, supported by the House of Representatives, has settled temporarily in Sirte. He seeks to enter Tripoli peacefully without armed clashes.

However, Dbeibeh dismissed Juwaili as head of the Military Intelligence. He is one of the most prominent supporters of Bashagha and is leading efforts to enable the government to work from within Tripoli.

Juwaili is still heading the joint operations room in the western military region, which was dissolved by the Presidential Council, which recently issued a decision to end all similar military operations rooms established years ago.

Editor Picks