Security tensions in Tripoli as armed conflict looms

Dozens of armed vehicles with dozens of armed fighters took to the roads of the Hay Al-Andalus district of Tripoli chanting words against the Prime Minister of the National Unity Government Abdul Hamid Dbiebah, a sign described as a show of power by the armed factions loyal to the Prime Minister -designate Fathi Bashagha.

Sources said the fighters were affiliated with the forces of General Osama Juwaili – the commander of the Western Military Zone – who recently joined Bashagha’s alliance as well as an armed faction of the General Security Apparatus led by Emad Al-Tarabelsi – a Zintani leader – who does not but announce which side he is on, especially with Juwaili; a prominent leader of Zintani, joining Bashagha.

Earlier on Thursday, another force loyal to the Juwaili of more than 50 vehicles and armored vehicles moved from the Fourth Battalion camp to the April 7 camp at Al-Sawani in southern Tripoli.

In response to pro-Bashagha military moves, the Constitution Protection Force mobilized forces in southern and western Tripoli, while sources said forces from Al-Zawiya and Misrata as well as from Other forces rejecting Bashagha’s alliance and positioned in camps in Tripoli have also mobilized forces in case clashes break out.

Bashagha’s attempt to enter Tripoli last week did not go as planned as pro-Bashagha forces were surrounded in downtown Tripoli and one of his companions was killed while other others were injured. Bashagha managed to leave the capital after the intervention of Brigade 444 which escorted him and his delegation to Shuwairif in southern Libya.

This new development comes a day after Bashagha told The Associated Press that his government will work from Sirte and only enter Tripoli if conditions are 100% favorable.