Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

The clashes between the fighters have killed hundreds of militants lately and displaced thousands of civilians. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 June 2019

Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

  • The army freed Gharyan town from Haftar’s forces
  • The town was a key supply route for the LNA militia

CAIRO: Libya’s UN-backed government says it has taken back a strategic town near Tripoli from a Libyan commander whose forces have been fighting for the past three months to capture the country’s capital.
The Tripoli-based government released a statement late on Wednesday, saying their militias have retaken Gharyan and vowing to pursue its liberation campaign until the “aggressors are purged from all areas.”
The self-styled Libyan National Army of commander Khalifa Haftar launched a push on Tripoli in April, claiming it seeks to free the city of radical militias.
Gharyan, about 100 kilometers from Tripoli, was a key supply route for Haftar’s forces.
Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli has been widely criticized. So far, hundreds have been killed, mainly combatants but also civilians, and thousands have been displaced.

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

The GCC — flag pictured — i comprised of six Arab Gulf nations: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. (File/AP)
Updated 09 August 2020

GCC urges UN to extend Iran arms embargo 

  • Letter from head of GCC says an extension is imperative to “ensure and preserve peace” in the Middle East.

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has asked the UN to extend an international arms embargo on Iran.

A letter sent by the GCC’s secretary general, Nayef Al-Hajraf, to the Security Council cites Tehran’s support for terrorism and its hostile actions against neighbouring countries as reasons to back an extension.

The embargo prevents the movement of conventional weaponry in and out of Iran, and is set to expire on Oct. 18 as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The agreement with international powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), provided sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for the regime curtailing its nuclear program.

In the letter, Al-Hajraf, points out that, in violation of the deal, Iran has “continued to proliferate conventional weapons and armed terrorist and sectarian organizations and movements throughout the region.”

It also said Tehran “has not desisted from armed interventions in neighboring countries, directly and through organizations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

The embargo’s restrictions, the letter states, are “imperative to ensure and preserve peace and stability in this region.”

The US has also been pushing heavily for an extension to the arms embargo, warning that lifting it could have dire consequences.

In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned that, if the embargo is terminated, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems” and would “become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world.”

Pompeo added: “This is unacceptable.”

Russia and China, two of the permanent five members of the UN’s Security Council with veto power, want the arms embargo to lift as scheduled on Oct. 18.

Should that happen, the US has warned that it could introduce “snap back” sanctions built into the original 2015 deal, unilaterally restoring all UN sanctions on Tehran.