UPDATED 7:45 AM PT – Friday, April 26, 2019
Russian-backed Libyan rebels have continued their push to capture the capital of Tripoli and oust the UN-backed government.
According to reports Thursday, forces led by general Khalifa Haftar captured a town in the southern suburbs of Tripoli. Rebels also claim they have established full control over Libya’s airspace.
In addition to Russia, General Haftar is backed by the U.S. and France as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the United Nations is warning of rising civilian casualties as ongoing clashes has spread to residential neighborhoods of Tripoli.
“The security situation remains volatile as clashes continue in the south of the capital,” stated Babar Baloch, spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. “We remain concerned about these indiscriminate fighting and continue to call for the protection of civilians and for the continued humanitarian access to persons in need.”
Rebels said they expect to capture Tripoli in the coming days despite fierce resistance from government forces.