A Libyan militia in command of a tank clashing with rivals near Bir al-Ghanam, 90 km north of Tripoli, Libya | Photo: EPA/Stringer
A Libyan militia in command of a tank clashing with rivals near Bir al-Ghanam, 90 km north of Tripoli, Libya | Photo: EPA/Stringer

A precarious truce in Tripoli appears to be largely holding following a conference in Berlin on Sunday, according to sources on the ground. After a few clashes were reported on Sunday night, the situation has become calm again.

A ceasefire in Tripoli, which was one of the objectives of a Libya summit in Berlin on Sunday, appears to be shaky but holding. 

Clashes were reported right after the end of the conference. But rescuers were also allowed to recover the bodies of civilians who were killed in a contested area of the capital. The operation had not been possible for over two weeks prior to the summit due to crossfire. 

Situation in Libya remains precarious 

There were no clamorous violations of the ceasefire, at least until Monday night. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took a less bellicose tone than in previous weeks regarding the situation in Libya. He said he had sent "a team of military advisors and instructors" to Libya, instead of troops, to support the premier of the national-unity government Fayez al Sarraj against the offensive of eastern Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar. 

Fighting in Tripoli on Sunday

Meanwhile in the southern area of Tripoli -- a battleground since April in the fight to gain control of the capital -- clashes resumed on Sunday night near a cemetery when pro-Haftar militias tried to gain ground, according to pro-Sarraj forces. But the clashes did not have significant repercussions on the situation on the ground. 

The Libyan Red Crescent was able to recover the bodies of six civilians who were killed 17 days ago in the area of Sidra, Tripoli. Victims included a pregnant woman, a 14-year-old girl and four men. The humanitarian operation to recover their bodies was possible due to the support provided by anti-terrorism officials and by Rada Forces, one of the most powerful militias in Tripoli.

Turkish troops movement reported 

The situation, however, remains shaky. Although Erdogan said he did not send "troops" to Libya, nearly 2,400 out of 6,000 alleged Turkish-backed mercenary fighters were reportedly redeployed from Syria to Tripoli to defend Sarraj and his government, according to the UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human rights. 

The NGO also reported, quoting sources loyal to Haftar, that 17 of the mercenary fighters were able to travel to Italy as migrants after they left the battlefield. 

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