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

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.


Donald Trump says Erdogan told him he wants northern Syria cease-fire to work

Updated 18 October 2019

Donald Trump says Erdogan told him he wants northern Syria cease-fire to work

  • Trump, in a series of tweets, said he had spoken to Erdogan
  • Call followed Trump letter to Turkish president which drew international criticism

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Friday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had assured him that he wants the “cease-fire” with Kurdish militants in northern Syria to work.
Trump, in a series of tweets, said he had spoken to Erdogan and “he very much wants the cease-fire, or pause, to work.
“Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen,” the US president said.
“There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success,” he said. “The US has secured the Oil, & the Daesh Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey.”
Trump also said that “some” European countries, which he did not name, “are now willing, for the first time, to take the (Daesh group) Fighters that came from their nations.”
“This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them,” he said. “Anyway, big progress being made!!!!“
Trump also tweeted “DEFEAT TERRORISM!” in all capital letters in response to a tweet by Erdogan saying “Mr. President, many more lives will be saved when we defeat terrorism, which is humanity’s arch enemy.”
Earlier Friday, Erdogan warned that Ankara would resume military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria if they did not withdraw from a “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border.
Turkey has agreed to suspend its offensive for five days in northern Syria while Kurdish fighters withdraw from the area, after high-stake talks with US Vice President Mike Pence in Ankara.