Forces loyal to the Libyan General Khalifa Haftar have attacked several drug storage facilities in the Sawani area, south of Tripoli, the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) reported yesterday.
The GNA said in a statement that the bombing had targeted the drug stores at a hospital, dubbed Al-Khadra, which contains medical supplies and equipment used for coronavirus patients.
On Thursday, the health ministry suspended operations at Al-Khadra after it was attacked three times in 72 hours by Haftar’s militias. The attacks were reported to have destroyed the hospital’s drug store and operations’ rooms. Operations at the hospital were resumed on Friday for coronavirus patients, according to local sources.
Observers say that Haftar’s militia is seeking to pressure the GNA forces – currently advancing in various areas in Tripoli – by targeting the city’s infrastructure sector.
Since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two centers of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys United Nations (UN) and international recognition.
The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.
In March, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called for an “immediate ceasefire of all conflicts taking place throughout the world, while devoting global efforts on preventing the spread of the COVID-19.”
“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives, the UN official demanded. “The world is facing a common enemy – COVID-19 which does not discriminate between nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith,” he said.
Although Libya’s war parties have welcomed the UN calls, hostilities between them have intensified in recent weeks.