Libyan army targets rival-controlled bases in Tripoli

Fighters from the Libya Dawn, an alliance of Islamist-backed militias, fire towards members of an opposing militia during clashes in Bir al-Ghanam, Libya, on March 19, 2015 (AFP Photo/Mahmud Turkia)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Army troops battled militias Saturday outside the capital, Tripoli, security officials from both sides of the Libyan conflict said. The Libyan army also said it carried out airstrikes on multiple targets near the city, including its only functioning airport.

The fierce battles for the capital city on the Mediterranean coast resulted in both sides claiming control of Aziziya city, south of Tripoli. Army troops and fighters loyal to a militia coalition known as Libya Dawn continued to clash south and west of the capital.

“The Libyan Army wants to liberate the capital from militias and gangs,” army spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari said.

Details about the battles and casualty figures were not available and it was not immediately possible to authenticate the conflicting claims…

To summarize, the (secular) recognized government is trying to reclaim Tripoli from the political Islamists, Libya Dawn. Meanwhile, ISIS grows stronger and was fighting with Libya Dawn a few days ago.

The UN is trying to convince the secular government and the Islamists to form a “national unity government”, with no success thus far. Until this is done, the West refuses to help either side fight ISIS.  

The UAE and Egypt are supporting the seculars, while Turkey and Qatar are supporting Libya Dawn.