Haftar Show Weakness, Turkey Threatens Retaliation: What Is Next Step?

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Khalifa Haftar’s forces carried out artillery shelling using over 80 rockets against the Mitiga Airport in Tripoli and surrounding areas of Soqu Al-Jumua and Bab Benghashir. The forces’ rocket attacks on Mitiga Airport led to massive damage, leaving two Airbus planes damaged and out of service after being hit by shrapnel. Firefighters’ vehicles and the runway were also damaged, as was the passenger lounge.

One plane (Airbus 320) was preparing for takeoff to Spain to evacuate Libyans. The Libyan Health Ministry said two people were killed and several others injured in the shelling.

This attack comes two days after Haftar’s announcement of the Ababil Birds Operation, vowing to rain down rockets on Tripoli and destroy the infrastructure. The attack also came after a rocket attack on Zawiyet Al-Dahmani near the residence of Italian ambassador Giuseppe Buccino and the Turkish embassy on Shatt Road.

Italy took a stand against Khalifa Haftar, saying the attack near Italy’s embassy in Tripoli was out of his “arrogance and weakness at the same time”.

Italy still believes there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict and we have to stop the war.

Ambassador Giuseppe Buccino said the attack wasn’t random as “Italy is targeted by Haftar’s militias”, saying Haftar is becoming more desperate and the attacks are evidence for his losses on the ground.

Operation IRINI aims to monitor the arms embargo in Libya and is under the oversight of Italian leadership and will be very integrated, transparent and balanced in its work. It won’t be a naval mission only or work freely, but also include air surveillance missions to monitor movements on the land.

Moreover, Henry Wooster the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Maghreb and Egypt, said the US is seeking to end the conflict in Libya and return to political dialogue. He added that Russian interference in the Middle East, that Moscow is attempting to strengthen its presence in Libya, in order to expand its influence in the Mediterranean and on the African continent

Moscow’s support for Haftar’s forces has led to the conflict and encouraged him to continue his aggression.

Recently, Haftar’s militia groups, backed by Wagner and Sudanese mercenaries, launched an all-out attack in Mashrou and Yarmouk frontlines in southern Tripoli but it ended in failure.

All of the media outlets loyal to Haftar published “our forces had taken control of Abu Salim and Furnaj districts and members of Presidential Council, ministers and Turkish officers had escaped to Misrata.”

Nevertheless, this news was fake news and disinformation in an attempt to weaken the morale of government forces and local residents of Tripoli. Haftar is using a new strategy, using the media to promoting misleading ideas.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly condemned the bombing by Haftar’s militias at the Mitiga International Airport. It reiterated its absolute condemnation of the attacks against civilians and civilian installations, noting that these horrendous attacks have been regularly occurring near or within residential neighborhoods, and this is in accordance with the plans that will end the community.

They stressed that the intense savage bombing merely reflects a series of indiscriminate attacks attributed to Haftar’s forces, which have led since the start of this month to the death of more than 15 and the injury of 50 innocent civilians.

For the Turkish direction focused on the attacked in Libya and on Mitiga Airport constitute war crimes, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. The Ministry added that Turkey will consider Haftar elements as legitimate targets if the country’s interests in Libya are targeted, referring to Haftar’s forces attacks on Zawiyet Al-Dahmani and Shatt Road, near the embassy of Turkey in Tripoli.

Furthermore, Ankara will continue to support the legitimate government of Libya; Government of National Accord, and its institutions, by providing military, financial and political support.

Turkey is strongly criticizing the United Nations for what it says is the UN’s failure to move against Haftar.

Appeals from the European Union to all foreign countries earlier to stop supplying arms and interfering in Libya and let peace talks proceed have gone nowhere.