PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – The United Nations envoy for Libya has warned that the battle for Tripoli is “just the start of a long and bloody war”, while calling for an immediate halt to arms shipments to all parties involved in the conflict, Middle East Eye reported.
Ghassan Salame told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that “many countries” were supplying weapons to both the UN-recognised government in Tripoli and to forces loyal to Libyan general Khalifa Haftar.
The two sides have been battling for control of Libyan capital Tripoli since Haftar’s forces launched a military offensive there on 4 April.
The risk of nuclear weapons being used is at its highest since World War Two, a senior U.N. security expert said on Tuesday, calling it an “urgent” issue that the world should take more seriously, Reuters reported.
Renata Dwan, director of the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), said all states with nuclear weapons have nuclear modernisation programmes underway and the arms control landscape is changing, partly due to strategic competition between China and the United States.
Top Trump administration officials have told Congress that recent actions by the U.S. have deterred Iranian attacks on American forces. But some lawmakers remain deeply skeptical of the White House approach in the Middle East, AP reported.
After Tuesday’s closed-door briefings on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said their objective over recent days has been to deter Iran.
Shanahan says they now want to prevent further escalation, telling reporters, “We’re not about going to war.”
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Source: Middle East Eye, Reuters, AP