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Libyan Army Strikes Mitiga Airport over GNA Attempts to Resume Flights

Libyan Army Strikes Mitiga Airport over GNA Attempts to Resume Flights

Monday, 4 November, 2019 - 09:30
Libyan National Army (LNA) members, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, pose for a picture (Reuters)

The Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, launched an air strike on the military section of Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, less than a week after the Government of National Accord (GNA) announced its plan to resume flights in the airport.

LNA did not release any details of the strike, but eyewitnesses and local media close to the GNA, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, reported missiles targeting the airport.

GNA’s Minister of Transportation Milad Maatouq denied any military presence at the airport, while Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Ghassan Salame earlier declared that all sections of the airport were free of any military appearance.

Mitiga airport, the only operating airport in Tripoli, has been closed since the beginning of September, after LNA was accused of shelling it as part of its operation to control Tripoli.

The LNA said it was only targeting the military part of the airport because it hosted operating rooms to control Turkish drones.

Clashes resumed early Sunday in most of the battlefronts on the outskirts of Tripoli, especially the south in areas such as Ain Zara, Khalat al-Furjan, and Aziziyah where battles were fierce.

Citizens were asked to distance themselves from windows and stay on ground floors.

LNA’s Media Center of the Dignity Operations Room accused the militias of indiscriminately firing rockets, describing them as “criminals” that kill civilians.

The Center announced that 15 militants were killed in the Saladin area and their bodies were sent to the Tripoli Medical Center.

For his part, the commander of LNA’s Western Region Operations Group at the General Command, Maj-Gen Mabrouk al-Ghazawi, urged all citizens in the areas witnessing clashes to cooperate with the army and security services.

Ghazawi urged locals to abide by the instructions of the army and security services on checkpoints.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for “Operation Volcano of Anger” launched by forces loyal to the GNA, Mohammed Qannouno, said armed groups were forced to retreat after trying to infiltrate al-Khalla and al-Naher areas.

Qannouno indicated that five armed vehicles and a tank were destroyed, and seven LNA members were arrested after a failed infiltration attempt.

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