6 May – 12 May: LNA spokesperson indicates deal between Haftar and Saleh

May 13, 2020 | Libyan actors

On 11 May, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson, Ahmed Mismari, indicated in a public address that a deal had been brokered between the head of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar, and the chairman of the Tubruq- based House of Representatives (HoR), Aqeela Saleh. Mismari asserted that, “The House of Representatives is a democratically elected body that represents all of the Libyan people and can only be dissolved through free and fair elections like in 2014.” It is unclear what this deal entails.

On 9 May, the LNA launched as many as 150 artillery shells on Tripoli. Open source reporting has claimed that as many as 80 shells landed on Mitiga airport, 40 landed on the Abu Salim residential zone, 10 on the Swani commercial area (i.e. Kremia), 10 on the Badri residential area, and 5 on the Fernaj Zanata residential area. The strikes on Mitiga airport caused damage to passenger aircrafts, fuel storage facilities, firefighting trucks, the passenger lounge, and inflicted civilian casualties. The shells on Abu Salim were in addition to simultaneous clashes on the ground in the same area between LNA forces and Government of National Accord (GNA) aligned forces.

On 6 May, the LNA spokesperson, Mismari, announced a new aerial operation against the GNA dubbed “Operation Ababil Birds”.  Since launching the operation, the LNA have undertaken both aerial and artillery shelling of GNA-aligned forces’ ammunition and military capability depots.

Throughout the week (with significant incidents on 8, 9,10, and 11 May), GNA-aligned Turkish drones launched aerial attacks on the LNA controlled Watiya airbase, located south of Zuwara. On 6 May, according to the Libya Red Crescent, 20 bodies were recovered from the region surrounding Watiya airbase. LNA has claimed as many as 64 fighters were killed. On 11 May, the GNA’s Volcano of Rage spokesperson claimed that they had struck a military vehicle, with an additional six aerial operations striking the location.