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There was no immediate comment from the Tripoli government, which had issued earlier a general alert for its forces in response to the eastern advance. Analysts doubt the LNA is capable of launching a full-scale attack as it has stretched itself with the southern advance and it also relies on tribesmen and other auxiliary forces.

Some diplomats say the advance is mainly a psychological campaign to pressure Serraj into a power-sharing deal on eastern terms, allowing Haftar to become commander of a national army. The confrontation is in any case a major setback for the U. N and Western countries which have been trying to mediate between Serraj and Haftar. Both men had met in Abu Dhabi last month to discuss a power sharing deal and a national conference is set to follow this month to agree on a road map for elections.

Mismari also called on young people in Tripoli to focus on the battle between LNA and Daesh, or Islamic State, in another hint that military action might be looming. The comments suggest the LNA might seek to takeover Tripoli working with local groups instead of seeking an invasion.

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In January, the LNA, which is loyal to Haftar, started a campaign to take control of the south and its oilfields with a similar rhetoric. The announcements coincided with the arrival in Tripoli of U. Secretary General Antonio Guterres who is on a regional tour seeking to help avoid a confrontation between the rival Libyan camps. On another potential frontline, a resident in Ras Lanuf, an oil town located on the coastal road, said tanks and military convoys were seen heading westwards in the direction of Sirte.

Sirte is in central Libya controlled by a force from the western city of Mistrata allied to the Tripoli administration. Any remaining foreign interest in Libya will be seriously shaken by these events. This attack means it will likely be a long time before any meaningful projects with any foreign support can be completed. After 42 years under Gaddafi, the Libyans lack several different skill sets, including leadership.

They are keenly aware of this, and eager for foreign support and training.

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The attack on the Corinthia, though perhaps smaller in scale than others, is incredibly significant in this regard because of how it will cripple foreign support. It saddens me greatly, but this is a massive step backward for Libya. I was expecting my passport back that day with a visa extension.

  1. Fuelling more violence;
  2. Libya: LNA Thwarts GNA Attack in Tripoli.
  3. East Toward Home.

Because of the kidnapping, government agencies shut down that day, and remained closed for the next 10 days of Eid. I was stuck in the Corinthia without a passport and Al Qaeda was publicly calling for Americans in Tripoli to be kidnapped in retaliation for the abduction of Anu Anas Al Liby. It was a tense time, but it passed without incident, and the staff at the Corinthia were incredibly supportive.

I was one of few remaining guests in the hotel during Eid, so I got to know several members of the staff well. Guests returned, and Tripoli continued to teeter on the brink of promise. Some weeks later, violence erupted and I again found myself one of few guests remaining in the hotel. In November, the militias began battling in Tripoli itself. A skirmish led to peaceful protests, which turned bloody when a militia opened fire on the civilians with anti-aircraft guns.

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A young girl was decapitated by a calibre round, and everyone went home to get their guns. The fighting raged throughout the rest of the day and all night.

Residents trapped as clashes rage in Libya's Tripoli

I watched the convoys of pickup trucks drive by below, anti-aircraft guns mounted on their beds. From my window, I could see shells exploding over the water. Once again, the morning dawned clear, and the Corinthia remained safe. The militias were at that time expelled from Tripoli in what was a massive popular victory. It is so sad to see that has reverted.

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  • Nine people were killed the other day. I have not been able to get names yet, but I would not be surprised if some of the staff I knew are counted among the dead. As a single incident, this event is certainly sad enough; considering the wider implications of an attack of this nature at the Corinthia Hotel — what was a safe haven for foreigners and locals alike to come together and work on building a new and better Libya — this is very sad, indeed.

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    Libyan facilitator, Yusuf, delivering an English class like a boss. But memories of these and other fine students will endure, despite the violence and destruction. The entrance to the Corinthia.