Anger in Tripoli as Trump praises Haftar

DW Akademie and the EU Delegation in Libya. Amin Mustafa Alamri's shot of a silversmith at work was among the winning

Trump's phone call came as the LNA, which human rights groups have accused of war crimes against civilians, is trying to take the capital of Tripoli from forces loyal to the United Nations -brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Sayez al-Serraj.

The World Health Organization also said late Sunday that 1,228 have been wounded since the self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive earlier this month to take Tripoli.

"Our airforce is providing fire support to troops on the ground", Ahmed al-Mesmari, spokesman for Haftar's forces said - while GNA forces confirmed carrying out seven air raids against LNA positions on Saturday.

Haftar launched his deadly campaign on April 4 to invade and conquer Tripoli, the seat of the GNA, resulting in repeated fierce fighting on the southern edges of the capital.

Geographically, the LNA has its power in the eastern part of Libya and the Tripoli government controls the west. More than 30,000 people have been displaced.

A phone call between President Donald Trump and Haftar on Monday, in which the United States leader praised the commander's "significant role in fighting terrorism" was likely to have emboldened the LNA further, said Abdelwahed.

Several airstrikes and explosions shook Tripoli overnight in an escalation of an assault on the Libyan capital by the warlord Khalifa Haftar. The country has been gripped by anarchy since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.

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The disclosure of the call and a US statement that it "recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources" has boosted the commander's supporters and enraged his opponents.

The group has been advancing on the city from multiple directions, and says it has taken Tripoli's global airport.

Haftar's offensive has revealed contrasting positions towards Libya, with the United States and Russian Federation, for once, on the same side.

Trump's about-turn flied in the face of his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who earlier this week called on Khalifa Haftar to stop his advance on Tripoli.

France dismissed the allegation even after it recently moved to prevent the European Union (EU) from condemning Haftar's push into Tripoli.

Alongside the rivalry between the GNA and the LNA, myriad militias have vied for control of key cities, while jihadist activity has also periodically flared.

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