After more than three years of fighting, the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has liberated Libya’s second-largest city from Islamist militants, General Khalifa Haftar announced on state TV, declaring a “new era of peace” in Benghazi.
The use by the US of so-called ‘annihilation tactics’ against ISIS, which includes dropping huge bombs in densely populated areas, would only make things worse; that’s why the Syrian government denounced the strategy, says investigative journalist Rick Sterling.
Nothing has changed the dire situation in Libya since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, said John Graham, former US Ambassador to Libya. A couple of weeks ago there were three separate governments, now we may have a fourth, he added.
Heavy battles continue to rage in Tripoli as rival factions duel for control of the Libyan capital. The assault on the UN-backed government is led by a Misrata commander whose success in the anti-Gadaffi rebellion was secured by the 2011 NATO intervention.
Russia has condemned the recent spike of violence in Libya where over 140 troops and civilians were reportedly slaughtered in an attack on the Brak Al-Shati airbase. Moscow called it a “deliberate provocation” intended to disrupt the peace process.
The interior ministers of Germany and Italy have written to Brussels urging the creation of an “EU Mission” at the border between Libya and Niger “as soon as possible,” after over 40,000 people traveled through the North African country into Europe this year.