Libyan Armed Forces kill commander of Turkey-backed Syrian armed group
The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Sunday the killing of a high-profile Syrian mercenary who was transported by Turkey to fight in the ranks of Tripoli militias.
The LNA carried out an operation in Ain Zara town southern the capital to target Mohamed Hendawy who is the commander of the second corps at Turkey-backed armed group, the National Syrian Army.
The Libyan Presidential Council heading the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli announced on Sunday the death of Chief of General Intelligence Abdel Qader al-Tohamy by heart attack, according to Al Arabiya.
Chief of Mobilization at the LNA Khaled al-Mahgoub told Sky News Arabia that Tohamy had been abducted by Tripoli’s Al Nawasi militias and tortured until he died.
Tohamy had been leading the Libyan General Intelligence since 2017, and was a prominent officer at the External Security Agency under late President Muammar al-Gaddafi.
In February, GNA’s Minister of Interior Fathy Bashagha stated that the General Intelligence Agency had been intruded by militias without naming them.
Sky News Arabia reported that Tripoli has been experiencing a conflict over power between militias affiliated with GNA’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and others controlled by Bashagha.
The Libyan Control Authority announced on May 4 the abduction of Head of the Central Administration for Financial Control of the Public Sector Reda Qerqab. The authority alleged the Ministry of Interior affiliated to the GNA of standing behind the crime.
The authority explained that the abduction is an attempt to impede the administration’s audit of the ministry’s transactions demanding his immediate release without conditions.
In January, the LNA and Libyan tribes announced the closure of oil fields and ports as the revenues had been used by the GNA to pay militants.
The Tripoli-based GNA, which lost Sirte to the LNA in January 2020, is an interim non-elected government that is recognized by the United Nations. The GNA is protected by militias, and signed in December 2019 two MoUs with Turkey on defense and gas drilling in the Mediterranean.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed in May that the number of Syrian mercenaries who were transported from Syria to Libya is 7,850 while that of militants who still receive training in Turkey is 3,000. The death toll of Syrian mercenaries in the North African state is 250.
On May 6, the LNA announced the launch of “Ababil Birds” operation. The following day the Libyan Air Force struck – within the operation – militias concentrations and munitions warehouses in Abou Grein town eastern Misrata, and farms used by militants in Qadahiyah district southern Abou Grein.
Mesmary declared in April that the militias attempt to enter Al Watiyah district western Tripoli in order to take over its base to pilot Turkish drones as the Libyan Armed Forces are deployed near Mitiga airbase and can recover it soon.
Turkey has been using Tripoli’s Mitiga airbase to pilot drones that target LNA concentrations and forces that encircle the capital and Misrata controlled by the GNA. In January, the LNA said it lied 100 kilometers from Misrata’s center.
A Libyan military source told Youm7 that the LNA downed in April around 60 drones that were granted by Turkey to the GNA militias in order to impede the advances of the Libyan Armed Forces towards Tripoli.
(JOHANNESBURG) — As Africa braces for a surge in coronavirus cases, its countries are dangerously behind in the global race for scarce medical equipment. Ten nations have no ventilators at all.
Outbid by richer countries, and not receiving medical gear from top aid donor the United States, African officials scramble for solutions as virus cases climb past 25,000. Even in the best scenario, the United Nations says 74 million test kits and 30,000 ventilators will be needed by the continent’s 1.3 billion people this year. Very few are in hand.
“We are competing with the developed world,” said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The very future of the continent will depend on how this matter is handled.”
Politicians instinctively try to protect their own people and “we know that sometimes the worst in human behavior comes out,” said Simon Missiri, Africa director with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, urging an equitable approach to help developing nations.
The crisis has jolted African nations into creating a pooled purchasing platform under the African Union to improve negotiating power. Within days of its formation, the AU landed more than 100,000 test kits from a German source. The World Health Organization is pitching in, approaching manufacturers for supplies.
Africa also benefits from the U.N.’s largest emergency humanitarian operation in decades, with medical cargo including hundreds of ventilators arriving in Ethiopia this month and sent to all countries across the continent. Another shipment from the Jack Ma Foundation is on the way.
But Africa isn’t holding out a begging bowl, Nkengasong said. Instead, it’s asking for a fair crack at markets — and approaching China for “not donations. Quotas that Africa as a continent can purchase.”
Such efforts are a response to a global thicket of protectionism: More than 70 countries have restricted exports of medical items, putting Africa in a “perilous position,” the U.N. says. New travel bans have closed borders and airports, badly wrenching supply chains.
“It’s like people hoarding toilet paper, which I still don’t understand,” Amer Daoudi, the U.N. World Food Program’s senior director of operations, told The Associated Press. “Countries in Europe and North America are paying attention to their own internal needs, but we think that will ease off very soon.”