Arab Today, arab today libya army declares no fly zone over benghazi
Last Updated : GMT 01:24:09
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Libya army declares no fly zone over Benghazi

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Libya army declares no fly zone over Benghazi

Benghazi - AFP

The Libyan army imposed a no fly zone over Benghazi Saturday in a direct challenge to a retired general who has been using airpower to press a campaign against Islamist militants there. Khalifa Haftar, who lived in exile in the United States before returning home to lead ground forces in the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled Moamer Kadhafi, heads what he calls a "National Army". On Friday his paramilitary force, backed by warplanes and helicopters, pounded Islamist militiamen in Libya's second city and fought pitched battles with the ex-rebels. Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani denounced Haftar's forces as "outlaws" and called on all parties to observer restraint. But Haftar vowed to press with his war against Islamists, blamed for attacks that have killed dozens of members of the security forces, judges and foreigners since the end of the uprising in October 2011. "The operation will continue until Benghazi is purged of terrorists," he told Libya Awalan television. Armed forces chief of staff Abdessalam Hadallah al-Salihin has denied any army involvement in the Benghazi clashes, although he admitted that some officers and army units had defected to join Haftar. Later Haftar spokesman Colonel Mohammad Hijazi called on people living in the western Benghazi district of Guwersha and the southern one of Sidi Fradj to evacuate their homes. He did not say if this was the prelude to attacks on those neighbourhoods, which are known to be bastions of the Islamists. The army's high command upped the ante by declaring all of Benghazi and its suburbs a "no fly zone until further notice," state-run Lana news agency said. "All military planes flying over the city will be shot down by army units... and units of the revolutionaries (ex-rebels)," it said. But it was not clear if the army has the means to carry out its threat, which came as local sources said mediation was underway to try and prevent new fighting in Benghazi. The health ministry said 37 people were killed and 139 wounded in Friday's clashes in Benghazi, cradle of the revolution that toppled and killed Kadhafi. A precarious calm reigned in the port city Saturday. - Political tensions - Friday's violence came weeks after the government acknowledged for the first time the existence of "terrorist groups" in Libya and said it was mobilising against them. It also comes two weeks after jihadist gunmen, including Ansar Sharia, stormed police headquarters in Benghazi, triggering fighting that killed nine soldiers. Haftar's forces pounded former rebel groups, focusing in particular on Ansar Sharia, an organisation designated by the United States as a terrorist group, the army said. The offensive also comes at a time of high political tensions in Libya where Islamists and liberals are in a tug-of-war, particularly after the disputed election this month of a new Islamist-backed prime minister. The government has struggled to assert its control over the vast, mostly desert country, which is awash with heavy weapons and effectively ruled by a patchwork of former rebel militias. The Benghazi clashes have divided Libyans, with some saying Haftar's operation could pave the way to a military coup in order to seize power. Others praise his will to rid Libya of extremism. Tribes and the military have allied themselves with Haftar's forces, who are also supported by separatist rebels who have been blockading for months petroleum sites. Haftar defected from Kadhafi's forces in the late 1980s and spent nearly 20 years in the United States before returning home to join the uprising. He has been accused of being in the pay of the Americans. In other developments, voting was underway in Tripoli Saturday for local councils to replace those formed after the uprising, with an average turnout at polling stations after a lacklustre campaign. The city has been divided administratively into four municipalities as part of an electoral process that began last November in the east of the country. Libya's interim government has divided the country into 102 municipalities with a view to promoting local governance and decentralisation.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today libya army declares no fly zone over benghazi Arab Today, arab today libya army declares no fly zone over benghazi

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to present her new collection

GMT 14:29 2017 Monday ,20 February

Prepares to present her new collection
Arab Today, arab today Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Optimism on the front line

GMT 07:24 2017 Monday ,20 February

Optimism on the front line
Arab Today, arab today Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 22:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 02:04 2017 Saturday ,21 January

Libya pro-government forces say seize Sirte

GMT 02:01 2017 Saturday ,21 January

Key facts about Daesh in Libya

GMT 01:57 2017 Saturday ,21 January

In Libya, Daesh down but not out

GMT 01:57 2017 Saturday ,21 January

In Libya, Daesh down but not out
View News in Arabic - Country: أخبار المدن
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival

GMT 21:11 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 07:30 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity

GMT 06:40 2017 Friday ,10 February

MP calls for removing text from Islamic story

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 21:49 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Scientists develop new therapy

GMT 19:16 2017 Friday ,17 February

Aziz House ready to host the tourists

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:39 2017 Monday ,20 February

newest smartphone another winner for Huawei

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday