Libya Air Force conducts airstrikes on Tripoli’s last functioning airport


The Libyan Air Force has conducted airstrikes on Mitiga International Airport, located in an eastern suburb of the capital city of Tripoli.

The strikes targeted the runway of the city's last functioning airport without damaging it, but caused some destruction to nearby civilian homes.

All internal and international flights were temporarily diverted to the Misrata airport, but later resumed at Maitiga, which is currently held by a terrorist group named Libya Dawn.

Libyan Air Force commander brigadier general Saqr al-Jarrushi was reported by Xinhua as saying that the airstrikes were aimed to cut off 'terrorist force Libya Dawn' from supplies.

"The strikes targeted the runway of the city's last functioning airport without damaging it, but caused some destruction to nearby civilian homes."

The Libyan fighter jets have fully secured western and eastern sky of Libya, and plans to bomb ports in Sirte, Misrata and Zuwarah to draw out the militants, al-Jarrushi added.

Tripoli Supreme Security Committee head Hashim Beshr was quoted by The News York Times as saying that a Russian-built MiG fighter jet dropped two bombs in a bid to hit a main runway, but they landed closer to the airport wall.

At least two civilians were killed and some nearby houses were damaged, Beshr noted.

Libya Dawn, which comprises the militia from the city of Misurata as well as both moderate and extremist militant groups, called the airstrikes a 'provocative' move by foreign-backed forces, BBC News reported.

Libya moved civilian flights to Mitiga after Tripoli International Airport was damaged due to fierce fighting between state-backed fighters and Libya Dawn in July and August.

The country has experienced a drastic escalation of violence after the 2011 uprising that overthrew the regime of former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, Libyan Prime Minister Omar al-Hassi told BBC News that the government had been open to talks with militias but would now be pursuing a policy of war.

He said: "We are now facing an enemy that has a lot of weapons and has support from regional powers and unfortunately elsewhere in the world who are providing them with weapons and experts."

Defence Technology