As political parities gather in Tunisia for UN-brokered agreement, war rages on in west Libya
Military conflict and intense fighting have entered the third week in the coastal city of Sabratha, leaving about 26 persons killed, 170 injured and thousands displaced, according to Health Ministry and the Libyan Red crescent.
Sabratha is a very crucial regional and coastal city both for Libya and for Europe. It is number one destination for illegal immigrants and it harbors the most powerful human trafficking networks, besides being a Roman relic.
Since mid-September, clashes erupted between Al-Wadi (or Fighting IS) Operations Room and Brigade 48, which are both under the Government of National Accord.
Since then, thousands of civilians were evicted in coordination with the Libyan Red Crescent, and according to the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health, 26 were killed and over 170 were injured.
The fight has taken new turns. From a fued for the killing of one person from one armed group by the other, to a strife for power and control on Sabratha.
Fighting IS Operations Room has allegedly refused to sign a ceasefire agreement with Brigade 48, which said it had agreed to sign, conditioning the end of clashes to having control of Oil Complex of Mellita plus withdrawal of rival Brigade 48 out of the city’s borders.
Though the spokesman of the room denied demanding such a request, the Brigade 48’s commander Waleed Zerig said such a request is illegal and cannot be granted.
Meanwhile, Zerig added that after an uneasy calm in the city for some time in the last couple of days, intermittent clashes have returned to the scene.