A withering bombardment shook Tripoli on Sunday as the eastern-based forces of Khalifa Haftar fought overnight for new territory in the southern suburbs after losing ground recently around the city. Adding to the misery of Tripoli residents, the main water supplier to northwest Libya said armed men in the south had stormed one of its facilities, reducing supply.
“My father said we should be ready to leave at any moment… the fighting last night was heavier than at any time before,” said a resident of Abu Salim district, near a frontline.
“We would leave to survive, but where can we go?… we will be on the street. It’s hopeless,” the resident added by phone.
Tripoli residents described the bombardment as the worst so far after weeks of fighting as the GNA attempts to end Haftar’s campaign to seize the capital and push his forces out of artillery range.
Mitiga, the only functioning airport in the Libyan capital, was targeted by rockets for a second day after shelling on Saturday destroyed fuel tanks and sprayed shrapnel across a passenger jet being readied for take off.
The U.N. Libya mission condemned what it called “indiscriminate attacks”, which it said were mostly attributable to pro-LNA forces. It said last month that the LNA was responsible for four fifths of civilian deaths in the first quarter of 2020.
Water pressure in Tripoli was already starting to decline on Sunday afternoon after the Great Man-Made River Project, the main water utility, said one of its power stations in the south had been stormed by armed men.