Libya's Mitiga airport closed due to Haftar attack

Libya's Mitiga airport closed due to Haftar attack

TRIPOLI - Anadolu Agency
Libyas Mitiga airport closed due to Haftar attack

Flights to Libya's only civil airport were halted amid attacks by militias loyal to renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar on Feb. 17.

In a statement, management of the Mitiga Airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli said the airport was targeted during a Libyan Airlines' plane's take off.

According to Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), Haftar militants were responsible for the attack.

The Mitiga Airport has been targeted various times by the Haftar militants.

A military source said the attack aimed at sabotaging celebrations to mark the 9th anniversary of Libyans' Feb. 17 Revolution, which ousted former ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

On Feb. 17, thousands of people attended the celebrations at the Martyrs' Square in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the GNA, released a video message on the anniversary of ousting Gaddafi.

Al-Sarraj said that they are the advocates of peace trying to ensure “stability” in Libya as well as making every effort to achieve a compromise.

Since early April, forces loyal to Haftar have been launching a campaign to capture Tripoli from the GNA forces.

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

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys the UN recognition.

Muammer Gaddafi,