Confrontations escalate in Libya, Libyan army launches Ababil Birds Operation
Libya is witnessing a continuous escalation between the two parties of the conflict, the Government of National Accord (GNA) that controls the capital Tripoli and is supported by Turkey and its affiliated armed militias on the one hand, and the Libyan National Army (LNA) on the other, following a series of political and field developments that have reinforced the escalation during the current period.
Political and field developments in the Libyan issue in April contributed to further escalation and worsening the situation, while the direct Turkish interventions continue in support of the GNA.
One of the most prominent of these developments is the announcement by Libyan army commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to drop the Skhirat Agreement, which organizes the political process in Libya at a time when Turkey and its militias launched successive attacks to control the strategic city of Tarhunah, which is controlled by the Libyan army and is about 90 kilometers south of Tripoli.
These developments escalated the confrontation between the two parties, and the LNA launched the Ababil Birds Operation to recover the capital Tripoli from the grip of the militias, according to the LNA announcement.
An official Libyan military source said in a brief statement to North-Press that “the operation targets the Turkish presence in Libya in particular, and any Turkish militant will be a target in the operation to recover Libya from Turkish interference and from the militia control of Tripoli.”
On the other hand, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Sunday, threatening to target the LNA everywhere, and said in the statement that Turkey considers Khalifa Haftar’s forces as “legitimate targets” if they (LNA) continue to target Turkey’s interests in Libya and its diplomatic missions.
Turkey continues to support militias in Tripoli with fighters, where a new batch has recently arrived from Turkey to Libya, bringing the total number of fighters who arrived in Libya to 8,250, in addition to 3,300 recruits who arrived in Turkish camps for training, according to a statement issued by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Continuing operationsHowever, the LNA denied targeting embassies, and continued its operations as part of the Ababil Birds Operation which resulted in a number of losses on the Turkish side, including that the military units of the armed forces were able to carry out a qualitative operation from the early hours of Sunday at the Ain Zarra axis, as well as targeting the commander of the Second Corps Mohammed Hindawi, one of the fighters pushed by Turkey into the battlefields of the war in Libya, and the operation successfully achieved its goal and killed the commander.
The Libyan Arab Armed Air Forces also targeted a Turkish drone that took off from the military base of Maitika and shot it down south of the capital Tripoli, according to the Libyan War Information of the Libyan National Army.
As part of the operation, the Libyan Arab Armed Air Forces launched a series of air strikes, targeting a number of locations in different regions, including the groups’ barracks and armories in addition to a number of air strikes inside farms designated to be the sites for these groups, according to the LNA.
Inevitable FateThe spokesman of the LNA, General Ahmed al-Mesmari, warned in a statement he posted on his Facebook page that the extremist Takfiris (unbelievers), criminal militias, mercenaries, foreign Takfiri fighters, and Turkish invaders face an inevitable fate.
He added: “You have no more time, and what developments you see in the operations of the Libyan Arab Armed Forces will not stop until we eliminate and defeat you and bring down the extremist project of Erdogan; take advantage of what is left of your minds and consult with your consciences, think and save yourselves.”
The LNA made progress on the axes of West al-Aziziyah, the axes of al-Alhadba, Abu Salim, Salahaddin, and Ain Zara, south of the capital, Tripoli. Accordingly, the number of deaths among Turkish-backed Syrians fighters in Libya increased to 279, including 13 children, according to the latest statistics released by the SOHR.
This came at a time when suspicious Turkish moves are escalating, as described by al-Mesmari, who said that suspicious movements were observed inside Tunisia, indicating that Turkish and Qatari aircraft were landing increasingly in Tunisia.
Tunisian political forces and parties had warned against using Tunisia as a bridge to transfer Turkish support to one party of the conflict in Libya, and demanded that Tunisia stand neutral.