Small Wars Journal

In a City of Ever-Shifting Front Lines, Libyans Confront Worst Fighting in Years

In a City of Ever-Shifting Front Lines, Libyans Confront Worst Fighting in Years by Sudarsan Raghavan – Washington Post

For nearly two months, this besieged North African capital of more than 1 million people has been ensnared in its worst episode of violence since the toppling of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi almost eight years ago. The forces of renegade commander Khalifa Hifter have reached the city’s southern edges and are battling a constellation of militias aligned with a U.N.-backed government.

“We are caught between two fires,” said Umm Ahmed, 57, a husky-voiced widow who fled her home after clashes erupted in her neighborhood. “And they are no different than each other.”

Unlike in previous militia clashes in the post-Gaddafi era, the combatants are deploying heavier weaponry and air power, including armed drones. Outside powers are blatantly violating an international arms embargo, say U.N. investigators, which has helped perpetuate the fighting and fuel what has become a proxy war involving regional and European countries…

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