Four Libyan families filed Wednesday a lawsuit against General Commander Khalifa Haftar at the U.S. Federal Court for alleged war crimes while launching indiscriminate shelling across western Libya, according to NBC News.
At a district court in Virginia, the families said their relatives, along with many others, have been killed during Haftar’s mortar, missile and bombing raids on the outskirts of Tripoli as part of his military campaign in the western region to control the capital since April 4.
They demanded $100 million in punitive damages and $25 million in compensation for their suffering.
“Haftar, who is fighting to topple the Tripoli-based Libyan government recognized by the United Nations, carried out his actions in a malicious, outrageous and willful manner without any regard for human life,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit added that Haftar has violated the international laws that ban torturing, mass killing, destruction of private property and genocide.
Two weeks after launching the military campaign in the western region, U.S. President Donald Trump praised Haftar’s “significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources,” according to a White House statement.
Trump and Haftar also discussed a “shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.”
On the other hand, 13 members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs submitted on June 6 a letter to U.S. Secretary General Michael R. Pompeo, calling on Washington to clarify its rejection of the military operation of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tripoli.
The 13 members urged Pompeo to call for a ceasefire in Libya and work with international partners to ensure its implementation and support the U.N.-led peace process.
“We are concerned that the current clashes are recreating the same security vacuum in Libya that the ISIS exploited in 2014 when it established its most powerful affiliate outside Syria,” they said.
They added that the war has killed more than 560 people, injured 2,800 and forced more than 82,000 to flee their homes.