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Libya: Attacks give government ‘no choice but to respond’

Fayez al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) holds a press conference in Tripoli, Libya on February 15, 2020 [Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency]
Fayez Al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) holds a press conference in Tripoli, Libya on 15 February 2020 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

Attacks by renegade commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces left the Libyan government “no choice but to respond,” according to a statement from by the prime ministry’s press office, Anadolu Agency reports.

Prime Minister Fayez criticized the international community for staying silent in the face of the attacks.

“The insane attacks carried out by the war criminal Haftar against the capital Tripoli these days are a sign that he was despaired as a result of his successive defeats and that he was nearing the end of his bloody project, which he carried out to take over the administration. The terrible crimes committed by Haftar leave us no choice but to respond with an iron claw by using all our means,” said al-Sarraj.

READ: Sarraj criticises new European mission to monitor arms embargo imposed on Libya, confirms priority given to Haftar’s forces

Haftar, the leader of illegal armed forces in eastern Libya, have intensified attacks on civilians since the beginning of May as government forces recently gained the advantage and inflicted severe losses on his militants.

The government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal.

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