Rights lawyers seek ICC probe into Libyan military leader

A woman holds a poster of Libya's eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar during a rally in support of Haftar and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Benghazi, Libya. (Reuters)
Updated 15 November 2017
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Rights lawyers seek ICC probe into Libyan military leader

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: Human rights lawyers have presented evidence to International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors alleging that forces loyal to a key player in Libya’s ongoing power struggle are responsible for crimes including murder, torture and persecution.
Tuesday’s filing is the latest account of atrocities committed in the fighting that has plagued Libya since Muammar Qaddafi was ousted in 2011.
Toby Cadman of the Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers has presented to the court a dossier, including witness statements, seeking an investigation into the role of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his forces in the alleged abuses.
Haftar leads forces in eastern Libya who are loyal to an eastern Parliament but at odds with UN-backed authorities in Tripoli.
A spokesman for Haftar could not immediately be reached for comment.


Extremists kill 9 Syria regime fighters near Idlib: monitor

Updated 16 November 2018
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Extremists kill 9 Syria regime fighters near Idlib: monitor

  • Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests
  • Extremist groups attacked government forces in the northwest of Hama province near a planned buffer zone

BEIRUT: Extremists on Friday killed nine Syrian regime fighters near a planned buffer zone around the country’s last major rebel bastion, a monitor said.
A September deal between government ally Russia and opposition backer Turkey aimed to set up a de-militarised zone around the northwestern region of Idlib to protect it from a regime assault.
But its implementation has been stalled since extremists who hold around 70 percent of the planned buffer area failed to withdraw by mid-October, and sporadic clashes have rocked the area since.
Early Friday, extremist groups attacked government forces in the northwest of Hama province near the planned buffer zone, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“Nine regime fighters and five assailants were killed” in the attack, causing government forces to respond with artillery fire, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The attackers included the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras Al-Deen group, which has publicly rejected the Russian-Turkish deal, he said.
The lion’s share of Idlib is held by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, an alliance led by Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate.
Under the September 17 deal, all fighters in the zone were supposed to withdraw their heavy weapons and militants including HTS and Hurras Al-Deen were supposed to leave.
On Thursday, Russian spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized “sporadic clashes,” as well as “provocations” by HTS in northwestern Syria.
Late last month, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of the Idlib deal, and criticized Turkey for shortcomings.
He said heavy weapons had not been withdrawn and accused Turkey of not wanting to “respect its obligations.”
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.