LNA negates shelling Italian, Turkish embassies surroundings amid launch of 'Ababil Birds'



Sat, 09 May 2020 - 07:29 GMT


Sat, 09 May 2020 - 07:29 GMT

A smoke rises from a port of Tripoli after being attacked in Tripoli, Libya February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Elumami

A smoke rises from a port of Tripoli after being attacked in Tripoli, Libya February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Elumami

CAIRO – 9 May 2020: After the Turkish and Italian embassies in Tripoli had said that their surroundings were being shelled by the Libyan National Army (LNA), the Libyan Armed Forces issued a statement on May 8 negating their involvement in the strikes saying that the militias of the Government of National Accord (GNA) carry out such attacks to tarnish the image of the Libyan Army.

The LNA declared on May 7 that the Air Force struck militias concentrations and munitions warehouses in Abou Grein town eastern Misrata, and farms used by militants in Qadahiyah district southern Abou Grein. The strikes are within Ababil Birds operation declared by the LNA on May 6 without any mention of details.

LNA's Spokesperson Ahmed al-Mesmary stated on the same day that eight soldiers were killed in an attack by the militias against Oqba bin Nafea airbase in Al Watiyah district on May 5. The LNA declared that the Libyan Armed Forces killed 40 militants, injured and detained others, destroyed and confiscated a number of armed vehicles.

Mesmary declared in April that the militias attempt to enter Al Watiyah district western Tripoli in order to take over its base to pilot Turkish drones as the Libyan Armed Forces are deployed near Mitiga airbase and can recover it soon.

Turkey has been using Tripoli's Mitiga airbase to pilot drones that target LNA concentrations and forces that encircle the capital and Misrata controlled by the GNA. In January, the LNA said it lied 100 kilometers from Misrata's center.

A Libyan military source told Youm7 that the LNA downed in April around 60 drones that were granted by Turkey to the GNA militias in order to impede the advances of the Libyan Armed Forces towards Tripoli.

The Tripoli-based GNA, which lost Sirte to the LNA in January 2020, is an interim non-elected government that is recognized by the United Nations. The GNA is protected by militias, and signed in December 2019 two MoUs with Turkey on defense and gas drilling in the Mediterranean.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed in May that the number of Syrian mercenaries who were transported from Syria to Libya is 7,850 while that of militants who still receive training in Turkey is 3,000. The death toll of Syrian mercenaries in the North African state is 250.

The Libyan Control Authority announced on May 4 the abduction of Head of the Central Administration for Financial Control of the Public Sector Reda Qerqab. The authority alleged the Ministry of Interior affiliated to the GNA of standing behind the crime.

The authority explained that the abduction is an attempt to impede the administration's audit of the ministry's transactions demanding his immediate release without conditions.

In January, the LNA and Libyan tribes announced the closure of oil fields and ports as the revenues had been used by the GNA to pay militants.

The Tripoli-based Libyan Control Authority declared on May 2 that foreign reserves at the Libyan Central Bank are speculated to decline by 20 percent in 2020 because of the closure of oil fields and ports.

Oil revenues are expected to plummet to $5 billion from $31 billion in 2019. Also, a deficit worth $19 billion is estimated to occur compared to a surplus of $7.7 billion in the previous year.

However, the Central Bank of Libya declared on May 6 that oil revenues achieved since the beginning of the year are $1.4 billion, according to Reuters.

Sources told Al Arabiya on May 2 that Turkish warships had been detected at the coasts of Tripoli's Castelverde, and that they might be preparing to strike concentrations of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tarhouna.

In April, Speaker of the Libyan Parliament suggested a roadmap for ending the crisis in his country proposing that each of the three provinces select a representative either by consultation or by secret ballot under the supervision of the United Nations.

The GNA's Presidential Council should name one of them prime minister while the other two would be deputies. The three of them would form the government that shall be approved by the Parliament, and issue decrees together.

Tunisian authorities announced on May 8 that a Turkish jet carrying medical aid to be delivered to Libya by the North African country landed in Djerba–Zarzis International Airport.



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