The heaviest fighting in Libya since the Arab spring revolution broke out in the eastern capital of Benghazi on Friday as forces led by a retired general attacked militias on the ground and with jets.
Air strikes pounded militia bases at dawn and 6,000 troops converged on the city, storming a series of bases and checkpoints.
Eyewitnesses described a city in chaos, with jets streaking low over rooftops, tanks on the streets, heavy detonations and aggressive fighting.
“The fighting is close to my house,” said one resident in the Hawari district. “Planes are going very low, there are explosions, there is fighting around the February 17 [militia] base.”