Libyan general praised by Trump accused of possible war crimes

Posted Thursday, 16 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The two sides battling for control of the Libyan capital Tripoli have engaged in "shameful" attacks on civilian neighborhoods that could amount to war crimes, Amnesty International said.Renegade Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who has been praised by President Donald Trump, commands the Libyan National Army, which in April began an offensive to seize the city from the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord. Libya has been plagued by violence since the ouster and killing of longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.More than 400 people have been killed in the latest offensive and over 2,000 wounded, according to the World Health Organization. The UN's humanitarian affairs office said more than 60,000 people have fled their homes. Trump was strongly criticized for praising Haftar last month as his forces moved in on the capital. The White House's official readout of a phone call between Trump and Haftar, who holds US citizenship, made no mention of the offensive on Tripoli, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had criticized earlier in April."As the battle for Tripoli unfolds, the warring parties have displayed a shameful disregard for civilian safety and international humanitarian law by carrying out indiscriminate attacks on residential neighborhoods," said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International's deputy Middle East and North Africa deputy director."Such reckless attacks could have devastating consequences for civilians and strengthen the need for the International Criminal Court to expand its investigations into possible war crimes by all sides in Libya's conflict."Amnesty International said satellite images and witness testimony indicated that "densely populated residential areas in the Abu Salim district of Tripoli were indiscriminately attacked with rockets during an episode of intense fighting between 15-17 April."Haftar's forces and a local militia affiliated with the Government of National Accord blamed each other for the indiscriminate attacks in southern Tripoli. Residents interviewed by Amnesty International told the NGO they believed Haftar's forces were responsible."Deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian property, and indiscriminate attacks that kill or injure civilians, amount to war crimes. All sides have an absolute obligation under international law to protect civilian lives and to clearly distinguish between civilians and fighters during their attacks," Mughrabi said.Haftar took part in the coup that brought Gadhafi to power 50 years ago. Now in his mid-70s, he has sent his forces across the desert from Benghazi in a bid to seize the country for himself.Haftar's main supporters are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.The Government of National Accord has the recognition of the United Nations but has difficulty enforcing its rule beyond the capital. It is hobbled by internal feuds and depends for security on rival militia, most of whom have an Islamist complexion. CNN's Tim Lister contributed to this report

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A 102-year-old woman is under suspicion of the murder of her 92-year-old neighbor in a residential care home in Chézy-sur-Marne, northern France.A carer found the "lifeless" 92-year-old woman in her room shortly after midnight Saturday morning and...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

London (CNN)After months of speculation, attempts to oust her and parliamentary defeats, the fate of Theresa May is finally sealed. But although there is clarity about her political career -- now she has announced she will resign on June 7 and set the...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)An attorney for Navy SEAL chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher also represents the Trump Organization, CNN has learned, just days after reports surfaced indicating the President is considering pardoning Gallagher of charges that could...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A wildfire has shut down a portion of Interstate 95 in northern Florida, snarling traffic on a major US highway as the busy Memorial Day weekend begins. The Yellow Bluff Fire has scorched 450 acres and is 30% contained, the Florida Forest Service's...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)He won the World Cup as a player, but could Gianluigi Buffon be ready to take on the challenge of winning football's biggest prize as a manager?The 41-year-old Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper is yet to make a call over whether he will continue...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Hundreds of thousands of school students around the world walked out of class on Friday to urge their governments to take greater action in slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate protests are planned in more than 1600 towns in over 125 countries ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

CNN national security analyst John Kirby, a retired rear admiral in the US Navy, was a spokesman for both the State and Defense Departments in the Obama administration. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)There's a major shake-up this morning on the world stage. Let's get right to that and what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

Luke McGee is a senior producer at CNN based in London.London (CNN)Brexit has destroyed another British Prime Minister.Three years after voters in the UK mandated their government to take Britain out of the European Union, Theresa May's failure to do so...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)While "Medicare for all" quickly became one of the top policy issues of the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, polling doesn't show a clear preference for a government-run health care program over the current system.Many Americans ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)"One man's food is another man's poison." - Lucretius (99-55 B.C.)Most people have this basic understanding of genetics: You inherit genes from your parents, and their DNA combines to create your unique genetic makeup. This can include more obvious ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)England's rugby sevens players have a secret weapon, but to find it they have to dig deep.It lies at the end of a grueling fitness regime which involves recreating the state of utter exhaustion the body experiences in the "death zone," a term used...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Among the heavily trafficked streets of Atlanta, a massive urban food forest is growing to provide fresh produce for the public. But what exactly is a food forest?In the fight against food deserts -- low income areas that lack access to fresh, whole ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Jayme Closs' relatives spent three months agonizing over the Wisconsin teenager's whereabouts before she escaped from the man who'd gunned down her parents and imprisoned her in a remote cabin. On Friday, they'll spend a few hours facing Jake...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Bullying is many things: teasing, name-calling, stereotyping, fighting, exclusion, spreading rumors, public shaming and aggressive intimidation. It can be in real life (IRL) or online. During the 2017-18 school year, 7 in 50 public high school...