A military leader, who for many years promised that he would take control of Libya, ordered his troops to go on a Thursday in the capital, Tripoli.
By the evening they arrived within 25 miles of the city and a powerful rival. the police rushed to stop them, increasing the possibility of a renewed civil war.
Warning, General Khalifa Hifter, appeared to be a new and perhaps decisive stage in the power struggle that broke up Libya separately after the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.
This move has removed plans for peace talks this month among competing Libyan factions. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, arrived in Tripoli on this day on the previous day. On Thursday, he called for "rest and restraint."
In a joint statement on Thursday, the United States, Britain, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates stated that "they call on all parties to immediately lift the tension […] and" will bring to justice any Libyan a faction that accelerates further civil conflict. " The statement did not indicate who started the last confrontation.
The United Nations Security Council Security Council was scheduled to meet on Friday.
75-year-old General Hiefter, however, on the Internet, ordered his troops to continue their march.
"For our army, which was in Tripoli, today, with God's help, we complete our triumphal path." "We respond to the call of our beloved people in our beloved capital."
On Thursday, the police said she had taken three cities on the outskirts of Tripoli – Garyan, 60 miles south; Surman, 50 miles to the west; and Aziziya, 25 miles to the southwest
The news reports indicated that there was only minor violence and it was not clear how much General Hifter had committed agreements with the local authorities to allow their troops to enter, or to what extent
Libya plunged into chaos since the release of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's dictator in 2011, when rivals competed for power. Bedlam reduced oil production in the country, exhausted much of its sovereign wealth, offered refuge to Islamist militants, and turned its long Mediterranean coast into an important starting point for African and Middle Eastern migrants fleeing to Europe.
After announcing in 2014 that he intended to unite the country under his reign, General Hiefter, a former Colonel Gaddafi Army officer and former CIA client, tried to pull the city of Benghazi from the reign of Islamist militias over the next three years. He received widespread support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which later joined France and in a limited part of Russia, and he eventually established his control over most of the eastern region of the country.
Analysts say his advancement came to the point that, in part, creating the inevitability aura of his next strong Libyan leader, he could deal with local armed groups around Tripoli.
But so far his advancement has had an immediate effect on the association of many previously disassociated regional militias around Tripoli against him.
Militia leaders from the city of Misurata – the most formidable power of rival General Hifter – said Thursday they mobilized their forces to Tripoli to stop him.
"We are ready for this tyrant with all the forces that we have, the heads of police said in a statement. "We are ready, as always, to stop this promotion."
At age 75, according to analysts, General Hifter may feel that he has a limited time to fulfill his ambitions.
"For Hifter, it's all or nothing," said Wolfram Lahher, a Libyan scientist at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. "Of course, this is a seizure of power, but if he fails he will be a devastating defeat. to maintain their supply lines. "
The transitional political process that began after Colonel Gaddafi's retirement was flawed in 2014, while General Khiefter declared his intention to take power. When the country broke up in a civil war , Organization of the United Nations, for support and the United States and other Western governments, tried to resolve the conflict by building a united government based in Tripoli.The government of Tripoli depended on security at the height of the local militia with their own controversial motives, including many, according to experts from the United Nations , smuggling migrants, extortion and other crimes, stability in its territory and a tumultuous balance between the Government of Tripoli in the west and General Hifter in the east. The Central Bank in Tripoli continued to pay salaries to civil servants in the area of General Hifter, including his soldiers, and General Hiefter allowed the Government of Tripoli to sell the oil supplied through the ports he controlled.
This balance broke out about two months ago, when General Khiefter forces for the first time was pushed into the southern desert. He reached agreements with local tribes without violence, and in the process took control of one of the largest oil fields in Libya – Sharar. Many analysts predicted that it was only a matter of time when he would go to the capital.
Some argued that General Hifter would still be able to live with some local armed groups around Tripoli to win them to their side. 19659002] But when on Wednesday, with the first signs of general Hifter's advancement, the UN head of government supporting the unity in Tripoli, Fayez al-Serray, called on him "to stop using the language of threats." Mr. Al-Serrai ordered all forces, the faithful of his government, to prepare for any incursions, including "from terrorist groups, criminals, criminals and all who threaten the security of every Libyan city"