Tripoli’s only functioning airport has been targeted in a drone attack as forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Hafter continue to try and take the Libyan capital from government forces serving the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
Hafter’s men said their drone targeted an old MiG fighter in the military section of Mitiga airport. Thursday’s air strike, however, did not prevent Mitiga Airport from continuing to function, Libyan media reported.
Tripoli’s International Airport was rendered non-functional during fighting in 2014 when 90% of the airport and 20 aeroplanes were destroyed.
Hours later following the Thursday morning strike, Hafter’s warplanes bombed a field hospital south of Tripoli, injuring several doctors and nurses while a third air strike targeted the Joudaim Equestrian Club, north-east of Zawiya, wounding a number of horses.
Gunmen from Hafter’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) launched an attack on Tripoli in April after travelling from eastern Libya and asserting they would rid the capital of “terrorists”.
Hafter and his men support the rival House of Representatives (HoR) government based in Tobruk in the east. In his quest for power, the warlord has taken control of oil-fields in the east which has impacted oil production, a vital source of revenue for the North African country.
The LNA is receiving support from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and reportedly France as well.
The ongoing fighting, to take the capital which is now at a stalemate, has resulted in 607 deaths, 3,261 wounded and 100,000 Internally Displaced People as of the end of May, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).
– African News Agency