Last updated: 3 March, 2015

Libya air force hits militia-controlled Tripoli airport

Warplanes of the internationally recognised Libyan air force struck Tripoli’s militia-controlled Mitiga airport Tuesday without causing any casualties, both sides said.

It was the latest in a series of raids carried out in recent months by forces loyal to controversial anti-Islamist general Khalifa Haftar, who was named head of the government’s armed forces on Monday.

Airport spokesman Faouzi Milad said Tuesday’s raids caused neither casualties nor damage.

The air force commander, General Sagr el-Jerouchi, said the raids had targeted Fajr Libya units inside the facility and had “also hit other militia positions in Tripoli.”

Mitiga is the only airport still functioning in Tripoli, which was seized last summer by Fajr Libya, a coalition of militias in which Islamists play a major role.

The international airport was severely damaged and knocked out of commission during heavy fighting at the time.

Since then, the military airfield at Mitiga has been open to civilian traffic as well.

The raids come as a new round of UN-sponsored talks aimed at resolving the nation’s political crisis is set to be held in Morocco on Thursday, after the internationally recognised parliament decided to end a boycott.

Libya has been awash with weapons since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi, and opposing militias have since been battling for control of its cities and oil wealth.

It has two rival governments and parliaments — those recognised by the international community sitting in the far east of the country and the others in the capital.