Is Operation Dawn Forces’s Tripoli Success The Beginning of the End or The Beginning of An Escalation In Conflict?
Operation Dawn Forces have taken a series of major Zintani strongholds in Tripoli and appear to be in control of the capital. According to sources close to both militias, Misratans now controls Naqlia Camp, have entered the passenger terminal at the International Airport and are within the perimeter of the Islamic Da’wa Centre and are soon to take 7th April camp, which is reported to have been abandoned by the Zintani forces that occupied it hitherto.
These gains are likely to be answered by further airstrikes from Operation Libyan Dignity tonight. If the Misratans are able to withstand them and hold their gains from today, a Revolutionary Council will likely be established in Tripoli next week, which will become the focal point for the city’s administrative affairs. Operation Dawn have expressed their interest in dismissing the House of Representatives and reinstating the General National Congress instead.
It seems unlikely that this military victory will spell an end to conflict in Tripoli. In addition to the reaction of the nationalist factions, it will be interesting to see how Libya’s neighbours and western allies react. Most international parties have taken a neutral stance on the conflict, but have quietly backed one of the two sides as part of a larger regional proxy war in the region between Islamists and Nationalists. Western nations will likely condemn Operation Dawn’s intention of reinstating the GNC, as it sets a dangerous precedent for Democracy in the region.