Heavy fighting and rocket attacks renewed in Tripoli and its southern fronts on Friday and Saturday, a big blow to the UN mission as it tries to reach a lasting ceasefire in the country.
The fresh escalation started early on Friday with tens of rockets being fired into Mitiga Airport and nearby residential areas by Haftar’s armed groups.
It’s the most severe rocket attacks since the start of the war on Tripoli in April 2019. Local residents near Mitiga Airport counted more than 60 rocket explosions in and around the airport.
Rockets also landed in Abu Salim and Hai Damascus districts causing damage to local residents’ houses.
Haftar’s forces claimed they had destroyed drone control rooms of the government forces in Mitiga. Later in the day, the government forces launched drone attacks on positions of Haftar’s forces in southern Tripoli in response to the rocket attacks. In a contradictory statement, Haftar’s command claimed “we have shot down six drones for the government forces after taking off from Mitiga”.
On Saturday, Haftar’s armed groups launched a surprise attack on government positions in Aziziya and Hira regions in southern Tripoli and managed to advance and seize new locations. Later, the government mobilized forces and repelled them from the two regions after heavy exchange of fire that lasted for several hours, leaving casualties and significant losses of equipment for Haftar’s forces.
The government declared six casualties in the fighting.
Videos posted on Facebook showed dead bodies of Haftar’s forces with their burned military vehicles. Other videos showed a group of militants after being arrested.