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  • Smoke rises during a fight between members of the Libyan government forces and Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli.

    Smoke rises during a fight between members of the Libyan government forces and Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 May 2019

According to the United Arab Emirates, Libya is prioritizing efforts to "confront terrorism" and eliminate "extremist militias controlling the capital of Tripoli".  

United Nations officials announced Monday that they are currently conducting an investigation into the United Arab Emirates' role in a missile-strike offensive against Tripoli, Libya launched by the Libyan National Army. 

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An initial report was filed to the agency's Security Council noting that alleged photographs of debris from the strike allowed experts to identify the weapon as a Blue Arrow air-to-surface missile. This marks the first time such a missile has been used in Libya. 

An AFP report said that use of the Blue Arrow missile has only been reported in China, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates. While the missiles are only able to be launched by drones produced by China's Wing Loong, the report stated, with almost certainty, that Libya did not receive the weapons directly from China or the manufacturer. 

The attack, which was reportedly carried out by units affiliated with Khalifa Haftar, took place on April 19 and 20 in the southern suburbs of the capital of Libya. Haftar's attempt to initiate a siege of Tripoli began on April 4. Among Haftar's main backers are the United Arab Emirates, as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

According to the United Arab Emirates, Libya is prioritizing efforts to "confront terrorism" and eliminate "extremist militias controlling the capital of Tripoli."  

Haftar's offensive has continued throughout Ramadan, despite calls from the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki for a ceasefire. 

Faki stated that "there would be no military solution in such a conflict," adding that "the Libyan parties must accept the cessation of hostilities and hold discussions to resolve the crisis in peaceful and political ways."

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq also mentioned the organization's growing concern about "increased cases of arbitrary arrest and abduction of officials, activists and journalists."

Since Haftar's aggressions on Tripoli, about 432 people have lost their lives, 2,209 have been injured, and displacement figures are approaching 60,000 people.

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