Heavy artillery heard in Tripoli, Erdogan and Putin to discuss Libya in January

A file photo of fighting near the town of Sirte ,Libya. Photo: EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA

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The sound of heavy artillery ranged in southern Tripoli on Wednesday amid an offensive by eastern Libyan forces on the capital.

A local source said mortar shells struck Salahuddin neighborhood in southern Tripoli, causing material damage.

No injuries were reported.

The artillery shelling came shortly after forces aligned with East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar fired a barrage of rockets on residential areas in Tripoli, according to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

Meanwhile, GNA forces said they had destroyed a Haftar’s vehicle loaded with ammunition in Yarmouk district, south of Tripoli.

However, on Dec. 12, Haftar announced that he had ordered his militants to launch a “decisive battle” to capture the capital.

According to UN data, more than 1,000 people have been killed since the start of the operation and more than 5,000 injured.

In the meantime, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss Ankara’s offer to provide military support to Libya’s internationally recognized government during talks in Turkey next month, the Kremlin said.

On Saturday, Turkey sent a bilateral accord with the Tripoli government to its parliament for approval, in a move that brings it closer to potentially sending military aid for the government of Fayez al-Serraj.

Turkey has said that it may send military support to Libya if Serraj’s government requested it, but Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that no such request had been made to Turkey yet.

 

Via ANA/Reuters

 

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