By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 6 April 2015:
There have been conflicting claims and counter claims by both the pro-House of Representatives and pro-GNC/Libya Dawn forces with regards to the situation in the extended Aziziya-Kasarat (quarries) battlefront south of Tripoli.
Following Friday and Saturday’s reported heavy clashes, today was reported as relatively calm.
Yesterday the Western Division of the GNC’s Libya Shield (Dira’a) announced a state of high alert and called on all troops to report to their units. There was also news of reinforcements arriving at Tripoli from Misrata to bolster the forces at the Aziziya front.
Today the GNC/Libya Dawn coalition announced that the Aziziya battle area is a military zone.
Both sides have been putting out maps showing their versions of the battle lines. The GNC-Libya Dawn map does not seem to deny that Aziziya is in pro-HoR forces.
They seem to suggest that the pro HoR forces have penetrated beyond Azizia and pushed as far north as Suq Al-Sibit (Saturday Market).
The Shield map, conveniently translated into English too, says that the pro HoR forces are engaging in random bombing of Zahra leading to possible damage to civilian homes.
The Shield say they are holding their positions and returning strong fire at the attacking forces. They say that they have been given new instructions to stop defending and go on the offensive and that reinforcements are being sent from Misrata to a number of frontlines including Wirshefana.
Meanwhile the GNC/Libya Dawn government’s Defence Ministry announced today the launch of the final decisive battle in response to the opposition’s non-compliance with the cease-fire resolutions issued by the UN.
It called on its troops to prepare to “cleanse” all the “nests” of the attacks whether in the Western Mountains (Jebel Nafusa), south or central Libya.
It is not clear if the GNC/Libya Dawn are seriously considering an all-out attack to take them as far up the Jebel Nafusa as Zintan itself.
It is also equally not clear if the pro-HoR forces have the capability to push the GNC/Libya Dawn troops all the way to Tripoli.
Neither side has been able since the summer of 2014 to overwhelm their opponent, with a long drawn-out stalemate, interrupted by the odd temporary penetration, looking like the best bet. [/restrict]