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UAE drones target airport in Tripoli, Libya: Gov't

Libyan government forces accuse UAE of supporting rival forces led by commander Khalifa Haftar

Walid Abdullah   | 17.09.2019
UAE drones target airport in Tripoli, Libya: Gov't

TRIPOLI, Libya

Drones from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) targeted Mitiga International Airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli, the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said on Tuesday.

"Emirati drones, supporters of the war criminal [Khalifa] Haftar, target Mitiga International Airport," forces loyal to the GNA said on Facebook without elaborating on casualties or damages.

The forces considered the attack as "a continuation of the criminal record in targeting infrastructure and airports and a desperate attempt [of Haftar] to reimburse losses."

The GNA has accused the UAE of supporting Haftar's forces, which Abu Dhabi has previously denied on several occasions.

On Sept. 2, operations were suspended in Mitiga International due to attacks by Haftar's forces, while all flights were diverted to Misrata International Airport.

Haftar’s forces launched a campaign in April to capture Tripoli from Libya’s internationally recognized GNA.

Clashes between the two sides since then have left more than 1,000 dead and about 5,500 wounded, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The oil-rich country has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

Libya has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: One in the east to which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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