10 – 16 May: Anti-GNA Operation ‘Libya Honor’ Launched in Tripoli

May 16, 2017 | Libyan actors

On 8 and 9 May, anti- Government of National Accord (GNA) militias mobilized south of Tripoli and deployed forces to various locations in the area in preparation for a new operation in the capital dubbed ‘Libya Honor’ by Salah Badi, a prominent Misratan militia commander and symbolic leader of the Libya Dawn operation in 2014. On 10 May, militias nominally affiliated to the GNA besieged the GNA’s Foreign Ministry and positioned tanks in front of the GNA headquarters in Abu Setta Naval base. They were protesting remarks made by the GNA’s foreign minister Mohamed Taher Siala where he referred to Khalifa Haftar as the legitimate commander of the Libyan Armed Forces. This escalation forced the GNA to issue a statement reprimanding Siala. Siala has not been able to return to Tripoli since this incident.

On 13 May, Fayez al-Serraj, prime minister of the GNA, missed the second meeting expected to be held between Serraj, Haftar, and Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sissi in Egypt. Serraj stayed in Tripoli as the other two met in Cairo. On 14 May, a number of pro-GNA military officers met in Zuwara, and issued a collective statement denouncing Haftar as a war criminal and refusing any rapprochement attempt between the GNA and Haftar.

On 10 May, a meeting took place between Khalifa al-Ghwell and Nouri Abu Sahmain, the former prime minister and president of the defunct General National Congress (GNC) respectively. They called for Ghwell’s government to retake the capital from the GNA and re-establish control over Tripoli militias through the recently formed Libyan National Guard (LNG). On 12 May, an ammunitions cache in Tripoli’s Abu-Saleem district, belonging to a pro-GNA militia led by Abdul Ghani al-Kikli (aka Ghniwa), was destroyed, reportedly by rockets fired by rival militias as part of operation ‘Libya Honor’.