By Sami Zaptia.
London, 20 June 2019:
The Faiez Serraj-aligned Volcano of Rage Operations Room (Burkan Alghadab), which coordinates the fight against the Khalifa Hafter forces, claimed in a press briefing yesterday that they have achieved several successes in the battlefield and accuse the Hafter forces of using cluster bombs and internationally banned phosphorus bombs.
Their claims come as reports indicate increased fighting in and around the disused Tripoli International Airport.
The Tripoli forces claimed that their forces are ‘‘hunting the outlaw (Hafter) militias at Tripoli airport and other locations after their supply has been cut off’’. They also claim that a plane that targeted Tajura hospital three days ago was also destroyed.
They also claim that over the previous 24 hours, their Air Force destroyed a convoy of nine ammunition containers heading towards the capital Tripoli after receiving information about its recent arrival from the countries sponsoring the ‘‘coup against the legitimacy, which is led by the war criminal Haftar’’.
The Tripoli forces also maintain that their Air Force carried out eight combat missions yesterday targeting enemy positions and vehicles in the vicinity of Tripoli and Gharian, where sites were directly targeted, which facilitated subsequent successes.
They also claim that their air force totally destroyed a C-15 plane loaded with ammunition at al-Witiya airbase, as it was preparing to take off to support Hafter’s forces at the disused Tripoli International Airport.
The briefing also claimed that their artillery targeted Haftar’s forces at the disused Tripoli International Airport, which Hafter’s forces use as a base, and from where they claim Hafter’s forces previously fired rockets at residential neighbourhoods in the capital.
The Tripoli forces claimed that on Tuesday they took control of enemy defences in the airport, Al-Yarmouk, Al-Nahr and Ain Zara frontlines, and seized four armed vehicles left behind by the fleeing militias and destroyed two other armoured vehicles and a UAE armoured vehicle.
Accusing the Hafter forces of continuing their war crimes/crimes against human rights, the Tripoli forces claimed that ‘‘foreign warplanes’’ supporting Hafter bombed civilian sites in Tripoli and its suburbs, destroying stores belonging to Mellitah Oil Company in Tajura, which they say is the fourth time the Hafter forces attacked oil sites after destroying a building for the North Africa Geophysical Exploration Company and a health care facility belonging to the oil sector in addition to a liquefied gas store. ‘‘They will not get away with it’’, they added.
With regards to military engineers and to the de-mining and war remnants teams who are constantly working to clear civilian areas, the Tripoli forces claim that they discovered the use of a 250 kg and 250 kg cluster bombs by Hafter, as well as the use of internationally banned phosphorus bombs in the areas of Bir al Ghanam, Swani, Aziziya, Tugaz Mosque and others.