Africa

UN-backed Libya gov't jets strike Haftar’s airbase

Al-Watiyah is only airbase, forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar captured near Tripoli

Ayse Sumeyra Aydogdu, Hamdi Yildiz   | 08.04.2019
UN-backed Libya gov't jets strike Haftar’s airbase


TRIPOLI, Libya 

Fighter jets of UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) on Monday hit an airbase under the control of east-Libya based commander Khalifa Haftar, according to Libya's Al Ahrar TV.

Al-Watiyah, an airbase 130 kilometers (80 miles) southeast of Tripoli, is the only airbase that Haftar, who commands forces loyal to Libya’s eastern government, captured near Libya’s capital.

Haftar's forces used the airbase to launch airstrikes on rival Tripoli-based government forces.

His Libyan National Army (LNA) has yet to make a statement on the airstrikes.

On Thursday, Haftar launched a military campaign to recapture Tripoli from the UN-backed government. A day later, he announced the capture of the former Tripoli International Airport on the outskirts of the capital.

The move was part of an operation called “Flood of Dignity” and the Libyan National Army (LNA) would not stop until the mission was over, spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari said at a press conference.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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