Libyan air strikes kill four, wound 37: government

Heavy smoke rises above buildings during clashes between the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar, in Espiaa, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on April 29, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 30 April 2019
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Libyan air strikes kill four, wound 37: government

  • The country has been mired in chaos since the NATO-backed uprising that deposed and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011

TRIPOLI: Air raids on Tripoli Sunday night killed four people and wounded 37, Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) said Monday, blaming the attacks on strongman Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).
This came a day after a similar attack on the capital killed another four civilians and injured 20, according to the GNA.
Haftar’s LNA launched an offensive against Tripoli, the seat of the internationally-recognized GNA, on April 4.
After initial gains, Haftar’s forces have encountered stiff resistance on the southern outskirts and his troops have been pushed back in some areas.
At least 278 people have been killed and more than 1,300 wounded in the clashes, according to a toll released Wednesday by the World Health Organization.
The GNA accuses Haftar of using foreign planes to carry out air strikes, without naming a country of origin.
After Sunday’s raids, “public hospitals received four dead people — three civilians and a soldier, and 37 wounded, Amin Al-Hachemi, a spokesman for the GNA health ministry told AFP.
“The toll may rise given that victims have been transported to private hospitals.”
The parts of Tripoli struck were Abou Slim, a densely-populated residential area in the south, and Ain Zara, a southern suburb that has seen several violent clashes in recent weeks.
A spokesman for the LNA confirmed Saturday’s strikes on the capital, but said they were aimed at military targets.
“The capital is experiencing an escalation in the military offensive, war crimes, and indiscriminate bombings of residential areas, public facilities and infrastructure,” Mohanad Younes, a spokesman for the GNA, said on the government’s Facebook page.
“Unmanned foreign planes participated in these raids, the latest ones having hit homes in Ain Zara and Abou Slim,” said Younes.
The responsibility for these acts, he added, rests “with the states which support the belligerent forces of the criminal Haftar.”
Haftar’s offensive has sharpened fault lines in policy toward Libya among world powers.
On April 18, Russia and the United States opposed a British bid backed by France and Germany at the UN Security Council to demand a cease-fire in the North African country.
The White House revealed the next day that Donald Trump had reached out personally to Haftar in a phone call, during which the US president “recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources.”
The country has been mired in chaos since the NATO-backed uprising that deposed and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.


Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

Updated 23 September 2019

Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

  • Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepared to celebrate its National Day with entertainment events, firework displays and cultural events, Iran staged a military parade in Tehran on Sunday with tanks, missiles and armored vehicles.

President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian military leaders saluted as ranks of soldiers marched past them in tight unison, followed by an array of military hardware.

Among the weapons on display in the parade, held to mark the anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, was an upgraded warhead for the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, said to have a range of 2,000km, and the Kaman 12 drone with a range of 1,000km. Speedboats and warships were shown in video footage on state TV.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities in the east of the Kingdom. After the attack the Pentagon ordered US troops to reinforce Saudi air and missile defenses.

In a speech at Monday’s parade, Rouhani denounced the US presence. “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” he said.

“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race.

“Their presence has always brought pain and misery ... the farther they keep themselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.”

The US aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops are for “deterrence and defense,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

“If that deterrence should continue to fail, I am also confident that President Trump would continue to take the actions that are necessary,” he said.