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Renegade General's forces claim responsibility for aerial attacks on Tripoli

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Air forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar attacked positions in Tripoli, Libya controlled by a faction of the Islamist-leaning militia known as Operation Dawn for the second time within a week yesterday, members of his group said.

Operation Dawn is comprised of fighters, mostly from Misrata, who have been fighting a militia group from Zintan. The two groups, former allies during the 2011 Libyan Civil War, have battled this year over parts of Tripoli, with fighting reportedly centered around the airport for several weeks now.

Yesterday's attack follows a similar one reported to have occurred on the night of August 17–18, arousing speculation as to the origin of the planes. Countries including Egypt, France, and the United States have denied any involvement in either attack, with the Libyan Government opening an investigation into the source.

Cquote1.svg Escalation by the militias in Tripoli will be met with escalation from our side until we restore security and stability to the country Cquote2.svg

—Mohamed Buisier, political adviser to General Haftar's forces

After the attack on Monday, a spokesman for the militia group said they were not abandoning their positions and that militia fighters from other areas were joining their forces from Mosrata. A political adviser of General Haftar's forces, speaking to Sky News, said, "Escalation by the militias in Tripoli will be met with escalation from our side until we restore security and stability to the country". The forces are reported to have also attacked militias in Benghazi.

General Haftar threw his weight behind the forces from Zintan in May, with the central Government losing control of much of the country, now working from Tobruk away from the fighting. With no national army, they are forced to rely on militia groups, who, while paid by the state, and wearing uniforms, are reported by Reuters to answer to their own commanders and towns.


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