Libya: ‘official’ regime to lose control of Tripoli?

Armed street clashes have rocked Tripoli over the past week, as militias linked to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) have vied for control of the Libyan capital with rival militias that have launched an offensive on the city from the southeast. The most significant of these is the 7th Brigade from the town of Tarhuna—also known as as the Kaniat Brigade, led by the Kani brothers. The 7th Brigade has rejected the truce, vowing to continue fighting until it "cleanses Tripoli of militias." The 7th Brigade has reportedly assumed control of the airport. There have been reports that that GNA has launched air-strikes on Tarhuna, but these were denied by the Presidential Council, which said that the strikes targeted only "aggressor" postitions inside Tripoli. The city's electricity has intermittently gone out amid the fighting, and access to Facebook—the only news source for most Libyans—has been blocked, although it is unclear by whom. The GNA has declared a state of emergency in the city, and Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has formed a "crisis committee" to try to broker peace. But warlord Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi, who is loyal to Libya's unrecognized eastern government, anticipated the fall of Tripoli, saying that "liberating the Libyan capital is inevitable." (Middle East Eye, Libya Observer, Libya Observer, Libya Observer, Libya Observer, Libya Observer, Libya ObserverAl Jazeera, Libya Herald, Reuters )

Photo: Libya Observer

  1. Libya in the Great Game

    Who to root for in the battle for Tripoli? Haftar appears to be backed by Russia, while the GNA is backed by the Western powers—especially former colonial ruler Italy. The eastern government that Haftar recognizes (or controls?) poses itself as more secular than the GNA, and is also apparently being backed by Egypt to fight Islamists. It also actually appears to mostly control the east of the country, while the GNA seems to have little effective control of any territory outside Tripoli—and may now even be losing control of that. As always, we'd like to hear more about the secular-democratic forces on the ground struggling for political space against all the armed factions…

  2. National Oil Corporation attacked in Tripoli

    Just as a ceasefire was worked out with the rebel militias in Tripoli, the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation in the city was attacked—apparently by jihadists, who shot the place up and threw grenades, leaving at least two dead and several more wounded. The attack recalls that on the National Election Commission in May, which was claimed by ISIS. (Libya Observer,