Cease-fire over, war in Libya to continue, pro-Haftar House speaker says

Published 15.01.2020 00:15
Updated 15.01.2020 09:07
Aguila Saleh Reuters Photo
Aguila Saleh (Reuters Photo)

Forces loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar launched missile strikes to the south of Libya's capital, the military spokesman for the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said late Tuesday, as the speaker of the pro-Haftar, Tobruk-based House of Representatives Aguila Saleh declared an end to a cease-fire in Libya late Wednesday.

"The war will continue," Saleh said.

Muhammed Kununu said in a statement that the Salah al-Din and Ramla regions south of the capital were hit by missiles, according to the media office of the Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) operation.

Pro-Haftar mercenary soldiers deployed in the region and drones operated by the United Arab Emirates flew over Tripoli, Kununu said.

He said government forces are strong enough to respond to the Haftar militias and called on people who migrated from the region not to return to their homes during the clashes.

On Jan. 12, the warring sides in the Libyan conflict announced a ceasefire in response to a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and they gathered Monday in Moscow to sign an agreement aimed at ending hostilities and starting a political dialogue.

Following talks in Moscow, the head of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, signed a cease-fire deal late Monday, but Haftar left for Libya early Tuesday without signing it after asking for more time to consider it.

The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, with multiple foreign powers now involved.

The U.N.-recognized government had been under attack since last April from Haftar's forces, who is based in the east of the country.

Haftar's forces on Jan. 6 captured the strategic coastal city of Sirte.

Sarraj on Monday called on Libyans to "turn the page on the past, reject discord and to close ranks to move towards stability and peace."

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