Libya on verge of civil war -- UN envoy | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Libya on verge of civil war -- UN envoy

He noted that the offensive on Tripoli came on the eve of the holding of a national conference in the Libyan city of Ghadames, a key event in Libya's political process.

"To see those who had enthusiastically accepted our invitation to Ghadames suddenly take up arms against each other to attack the capital, or to defend it, has thrown me into the deepest level of sadness for the opportunity lost and for a hope killed exactly 10 days before its realization," said Salame.

The attack on Tripoli also imperiled the potential of the talks held on Feb. 27 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, between Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Gen. Haftar, the sixth of its kind between them, he said.

At those talks, there had been the real opportunity to replace the Government of National Accord in Tripoli, dissolve the parallel government in Beida and create an inclusive, unified national government, which would have shepherded the country through the election process to the end of the transitional period. The understandings reached in Abu Dhabi had also placed the military under civilian control, a key demand of the vast majority of Libyans and many in the international community, he said.