Heavy clashes broke out in southern Tripoli districts on August 27 between the 7th Brigade and a coalition of armed brigades made up of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, Bab Tajoura Brigade, Ghanewa Brigade, Nawasi Brigade and Misrata’s 301 Brigade.
The 7th Brigade, a.k.a Kanyat or Kani brigade, is from Tarhuna, a city some 65 km to the southeast of Tripoli. The name of the brigade was derived from Kani family whose members lead the brigade.
The 7th Brigade has been deployed in Qasir Ben Ghashir district of Tripoli for more than a year upon an agreement with Tripoli brigades.
On Monday, August 27, the 7th Brigade launched a surprise attack on southern Tripoli districts and advanced into Khallat Furjan, Ein Zara, Wadi Rabea and Salah Eddine.
Heavy clashes broke out and the 7th Brigade managed to gain more ground and control Yarmouk military camp in Salah Eddine district.
Misrata’s 301 Brigade, a.k.a Halbous, was reportedly withdrawn from the fighting leaving only Tripoli brigades in the battlefield.
On Tuesday, August 28, a ceasefire agreement was reached at the initiative of the dignitaries of Zawiya city, but it was quickly violated and heavy clashes resumed hours later.
On Wednesday, August 29, Tripoli brigades retook Yarmouk military camp, but only for few hours due to a counterattack by 7th Brigade, which managed to regain control of the camp.
Another three-day truce was announced late on Wednesday, but it only lasted for few hours and fighting renewed.
The airforce of the Presidential Council reportedly conducted an airstrike on Tarhuna city, causing angry street protests there.
The Spokesman for the Chairman of the Presidential Council, Mohammed al-Salak, denied via Twitter that the airforce of the PC had bombed any site inside the city of Tarhuna, stressing that the strikes targeted only the “aggressor’s” positions inside Tripoli.
Al-Sumood Brigade, which is led by senior Libya Dawn Operation commander Salah Badi, has reportedly joined fighting alongside the 7th Brigade.
According to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, the death toll rose to 27, including 1 from Mali, while 91 people were wounded, 3 in critical condition. Most casualties were civilians.
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya, the European Union, Italy, Britain, France and the United States called on all conflicting groups to immediately cease all military action.
The Presidential Council denied the affiliation of the 7th Brigade to its ranks.
The Presidential Council ordered Thursday the commanders of central and western military zones Mohammed Al-Haddad and Osama Al-Juwaili respectively to intervene as a peacekeeping force to end fighting between the two sides.
The reason of the clashes is still unclear, but the 7th Brigade says “the military operation aims to cleanse Tripoli of corrupt militias, which they used their influence to get bank credits worth millions of dollars while the ordinary people sleep outside banks to get few dinars.”