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Armed conflict for influence in Tripoli

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Tripoli

Security sources in Tripoli said that “the Special Deterrent Forces” and “Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades” stormed inside Rixos hotel and the presidential palaces in Tripoli, Wednesday morning, and controlled the area. The brigades affiliated with the Salvation Government that led by Khalifa Al-Ghuwel had retreated towards Salah-Uddin, south Tripoli. “Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigades alliance were trying, since Tuesday, to storm inside the hosting palaces, the headquarter of the Presidency Guards-affiliated with the Salvation Government.

The alliance is working to seize the hospitality palaces using heavy and medium weaponry, to storm inside. While no reaction issued from the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA), many fear clashes would escalate and expand, and the possibility that the PC would get reinforcements from Misrata troops, while “the Deterrent Forces” in Mitiga base and the central security in Abu-Saleem join “Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades.”

The Tripoli citizens woke up on heavy clashes in Al-Andalus district, Gargaresh, Gurji, and Ghot Al-Shaal, west of Tripoli, roads were closed, clashes intensified in Al-Andalus district. Local sources inside Tripoli said that the confrontations continued in Al-Andalus district between Nuri Freawan Brigade, affiliated with the PC Defense Ministry, and the first brigades led by Haitham Al-Tajouri of the interior ministry.

Nuri Freawan brigade said in a statement that Al-Tajouri forces attacked them near the National Trade Bank, they are assigned to protect and detained six of their members and number of cars.

Sources said that “the reasons for Al-Tajouri attack was the intelligence that Al-Ghuwel agreed with groups in Wersheffana to open the coastal road linking Tripoli and Al-Zawya city.”

Others referred the attack to the affiliation of Freawan to Misrata, the birthplace of Al-Ghuwel, besides the alliance between Freawan and Al-Ghuwel, who is affiliated with Presidency Guards, against Al-Tajouri.

The National forces, mostly from Amazigh located in Ghot Al-Shaal, supported Freawan against Al-Tajouri. Observers said that the reasons for such support were old rivalry with Al-Tajouri brigade, allied with the Special Deterrent Forces, following the later arrest of Adel Sheta, the leader of the National Forces.

According to sources, Al-Tajouri, backed by the GNA, controlled the area, Al-Ghuwel forces retreated, he fears that Al-Ghuwel would strike a deal with Wersheffana to open the roads, which would allow in enforcements from Sabratha, west of Tripoli.

If Al-Ghuwel could strike that deal with Wersheffana, he would wrest control over the whole area from Libyan – Tunisia borders (Ras Jdair) to Tuesday market, central of Tripoli, while the GNA control would be limited to Souq Jomaa and the center of the capital city, Tripoli.