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Libya: Ghwell Militias Prep for New Battle in Tripoli | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Khalifa Ghwell, a self-declared prime minister, gestures during an interview with Reuters, in Tripoli, Libya, February 1, 2017. Picture taken February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Cairo – Former Prime Minister of the National Salvation Government Khalifa al-Ghwell stated that he tried to reach an agreement with Akilah Saleh, speaker of the parliament in Tobruk, and Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani to form a new government to substitute Sarraj government.

Ghwell denounced the meddling of Italy in the internal affair and seizing, supported by pro-Sarraj militias, his headquarters in Tripoli. He considered that the latest aggressive incidents that occurred in the past week were plotted by the Libyan Presidential Council.

A military officer in Ghwell government revealed that preparations are being made for a military operation to wrest control over some headquarters and target pro-Sarraj militias.

Tripoli falls under the control of various armed groups that have formed local power zones and are struggling for authority since the national revolution, backed by NATO, against late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Libyan Presidential Council neglected, for its part, that its headquarters in the navy base was raided by militias and denounced in return the threats of Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar to invade the capital in response to calls made by protestors who witnessed gunfire as they demanded liberating the city from militias.

In a related matter, spokesman for pro-Haftar forces Ahmed al-Mesmari declared that the last stronghold of al-Qaeda was liberated putting an end to a resistance that lasted for weeks by fighters who took shields in housing towers.

In a news conference, he added that the Libyan National Army (LNA) killed 42 terrorists in latest battles, west Benghazi, as he affirmed that Turkey is involved in providing logistic and materialistic support to extremists in the city.

The LNA is conducting, since three years, a campaign in the second biggest city in Libya and is still confronting resistance enclaves in two northern towns despite the enormous gains accomplished since the beginning of 2016.

Mid of 2014, Haftar launched the Dignity Operation saying that he wants to kick out extremists from the city following a series of explosions and murders.