24 – 30 April: Airstrikes and shelling in residential areas of southern Tripoli

May 1, 2019 | Libyan actors

Last week, armed clashes, shelling and airstrikes continued along the frontlines in southern Tripoli between Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and forces aligned to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, with both sides frequently losing and gaining territory in southern Tripoli. Indiscriminate shelling/rocket attacks on residential areas have also continued. According to the UN, as of 28 April, at least 41,000 people have been displaced in Tripoli, nearly 300 people killed and thousands injured. The levels of disinformation and propaganda remain extremely high on all sides.

GNA-affiliated air force jets conducted multiple airstrikes throughout the week against LNA positions in western Libya, including in al-Watiya airbase, Ghariyan, Tarhouna, Asabaa and Azizziyah. LNA night airstrikes in Tripoli targeted GNA arms and weapons caches. The LNA continues to have key bases in Ghariyan, Tarhouna, Bani Walid and Sabratha. The Minister of Interior of the parallel eastern government, Ibrahim Bushnaf, plans to appoint new security figureheads in all of these towns, with the support of existing groups who defected from the GNA rather than flying in external representatives.

As of 29 April, after successive advances by the GNA’s forces last week, the LNA managed to push slightly deeper into southern Tripoli. GNA armed groups are reportedly preparing for a large counter offensive on the LNA including advancing towards Tarhouna and Ghariyan.