US & UK Concerned over Armed Clashes in West Libya


The United States expressed its concern about reports of weapons being used in civilian areas, and the potential for further violence in Libya.

In a statement issued on Monday, the US Embassy in Libya called on Libyan leaders to “do everything they can to de-escalate and take every precaution to protect the lives of civilians.”

Meanwhile, the UK Embassy in Libya said they are “closely tracking the situation in the city of Zawiya,” stressing that the “use of weapons that puts civilian lives at risk is unacceptable.” It urged all those involved to “de-escalate and avoid any actions that further threaten people’s daily lives.”

On Thursday, the Official Spokesman for the Government of National Unity (GNU), Mohamed Hammouda commented on the airstrikes that targeted various areas in Al-Zawiya. “This morning our national air force carried out successful and targeted airstrikes against a number of hideouts of fuel smuggling, drug, and human trafficking gangs in the western coast,” he said in media statements.

Hammouda added that the operation was “launched on the direct orders by Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba. These were part of a military plan to purge the areas along the west coast, and other sites of trafficking criminals and gangs.”

Earlier, the Hammouda stressed that they “will continue the military operations until all objectives are achieved.”

The Deputy Head of the Council of Elders of Al-Zawiya, Jumaa Al-Jilani confirmed that two people were injured as a result of the drone strikes. The Ambulance and Emergency Service announced that one person was slightly injured, near the Sayeda Zainab area, south of Al-Zawiya.

Meanwhile, MP Ali Bouzraiba claimed that Turkish drones had conducted the airstrikes, by order of Dbaiba. Turkey is believed to control a number of military bases in western Libya, most notably the Al-Watiya airbase.

On Friday, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) announced it is in contact with the concerned authorities about the airstrikes.

The Mission said in a statement that it will continue to monitor the situation closely. It confirmed that these events “illustrate the urgent need for Libya to unify and enable accountable security and military institutions. This s to ensure safety and stability for Libyan people across the country.”

“UNSMIL reminds all involved in the incidents in Zawiya that any law enforcement measures should respect relevant national and international laws. Protection of civilians should remain paramount,” the Mission stressed.