3 April – 9 April: Libyan National Army launches operation on Tripoli

Apr 9, 2019 | Libyan actors

On 3 April, the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced the launch of its long-anticipated operation in western Libya. On 4 April, LNA leader Khalifa Haftar released a highly evocative statement declaring Operation “Flood of Dignity” to liberate Tripoli. Shortly after, LNA forces moved north from Ghariyan towards the Tripoli International Airport area in south Tripoli. The same day, LNA forces west of the capital also briefly seized the 27km checkpoint on the coastal road between Zawiyya and Tripoli, before being routed.

In response to the LNA statements and mobilization of forces, various armed groups in Tripoli and the wider western region – many of whom are nominally aligned to the internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA) including the Tripoli Protection Force, Zintani forces aligned with Usama Juwaili and forces from Misrata and Zawiyya – mobilized to the outskirts of Tripoli and fortified their positions ahead of the LNA’s advance. The GNA has called this counter operation “Volcano of Rage”.

Since then, fighting has mainly been concentrated in the districts south and south-east of Tripoli, accessed via the roads from Ghariyan and Tarhouna. At least 27 people have been killed in the fighting so far, and over 2000 displaced according to the UN.