The Libyan capital Tripoli has again become the target of air raids. Residents reported that they had initially heard a drone in the air, followed by several loud explosions. Also anti-aircraft fire had been heard. The exact objectives of the attacks were initially unclear.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) of rebel commander Chalifa Haftar has been pushing an offensive on Tripoli, the capital, for three weeks, controlled by the country's internationally recognized government. The LNA has since airlifted several times. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 280 people have been killed and more than 1,300 injured in the fighting so far.
The rebel army also sent a warship into the oil port of Ras Lanuf in the east of the country, which they also confirmed for the first time. The patrol boat Alkarama was posted as part of an exercise and should secure the oil plants, said a LNA spokesman. The LNA controls the oil ports in the east of the country as well as the oil fields. However, the administration continues to be with the state-owned oil company NOC, as foreign buyers only want to do business with their long-known company.
Haftar was under the 2011 ousted head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi General. He has the support of the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, providing him with air strikes while taking control in the East Libya helped. Both countries have also supported the LNA UN with military equipment, including helicopters, and even built a military air base.
Haftar's trip to Tripoli intensifies the chaos in the civil war country: the fighting threatens to disrupt oil supplies and promote illegal migration across the Mediterranean to Europe. They could also frustrate UN plans for an election to end the dispute between rival East and West governments.
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