Fighter jets belonging to the Libyan army bombed Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport on Tuesday without causing any damage, according to airport sources and army statements.
“A fighter jet loyal to army chief Khalifa Haftar carried out a raid on [Mitiga] airport on Tuesday without causing damage,” an airport source, who declined to be named, told The Anadolu Agency.
Libya’s pro-Haftar Petroleum Facilities Guard, for its part, announced on Facebook that “the Libyan air force on Tuesday launched airstrikes against armed group situated in Mitiga airport.”
“Starting today, military operations will begin in Tripoli against militias that have taken up positions in airports and other parts of the capital,” it added.
The Libyan army, meanwhile, announced on Facebook that it had carried out a number of aerial raids on the airport, which it described as “a gateway for logistical support and weapon supplies” for the Islamist “Dawn of Libya” group.
Neither the Tripoli-based government nor the Dawn of Libya was available to comment on the development.
In May of last year, Haftar declared war on armed group based in eastern Libya, vowing to “purge” Libya of “extremists.”
Fractious Libya has remained in turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.
Vying for legislative authority are a Tobruk-based parliament and an Islamist-led assembly, which – even though its mandate ended last year – continues to convene in Tripoli.
The two assemblies support two different governments respectively headquartered in Tobruk and Tripoli.