Posted in: 03/09/2022 – 13:35
Armed Libyan factions clashed in the western outskirts of Tripoli late Friday evening and Saturday morning, September 3, 2022, while forces allied with the government of Abdul Hamid al-Dabaiba consolidated their control over the capital.
The clashes took place in the Warshafana district, west of Tripoli, which has been the scene of frequent clashes during the 11 years of violence and chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled the country for decades.
The clashes, along with a large faction loyal to Dabaiba, took control of a military headquarters in southern Tripoli, after a week of the bloodiest violence in two years, when several rival factions fought in and around the capital.
The fighting that erupted last week led to the expulsion of several groups allied to Dabaiba’s rival for the premiership – former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed by parliament in the east to head a new government.
The standoff between the two men continued for months, with the powerful eastern faction in Libya lined up behind Bashagha, while the many factions controlling Tripoli and the rest of the northwest were divided.
After last week’s fighting, both Bashagha and Dabaiba visited Turkey, which has helped the now-divided Western factions fend off an offensive from the east in 2020. Turkey maintains a military presence around Tripoli, including drones that could play a critical role in determining the outcome of any major fighting if it decides. Support one side.
There were unconfirmed reports last week of the use of drones against factions supporting Bashagha.
And diplomacy to resolve the Libyan crisis faltered. Late on Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed a new special envoy to Libya, but with the UN Security Council divided, it is unclear how much influence Abdullah Bathili will have in the position.
In the clashes that erupted late on Friday, September 2, 2022 and extended until dawn on Saturday, a witness said that mortar shells were fired in Warshafana, an agricultural area with villages and some urban areas between Tripoli and the city of Zawiya in the west of the country.
During the fighting that took place last week, it was reported that a major faction allied with Bashagha based in Zawiya, among other groups, was confronted on the outskirts of the capital.
In the Ain Zara neighborhood in southern Tripoli, a powerful faction supporting Dabaiba seized a security headquarters during last week’s fighting. Fighters and cars with badges parked there on Saturday morning, and checkpoints were set up nearby.