2019-08-13 Africa North
Rocket Fire Hits Libya Airport, Breaking Eid Truce
[AnNahar] Rocket fire hit the Libyan capital's sole functioning airport Sunday, violating a temporary truce between the unity government and forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar
...Self-proclaimed Field Marshal, served in the Libyan army under Muammar Qadaffy, and took part in the coup that brought Qadaffy to power in 1969. He became a prisoner of war in Chad in 1987. While held prisoner, he and his fellow officers formed a group hoping to overthrow Qadaffy, so it's kind of hard to describe him as a Qadaffy holdover. He was released around 1990 in a deal with the United States government and spent nearly two decades in the United States, gaining US citizenship. In 1993, while living in the United States, he was convicted in absentia of crimes against the Jamahiriya and sentenced to death. Haftar held a senior position in the anti-Qadaffy forces in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. In 2014 he was commander of the Libyan Army when the General National Congress (GNC) refused to give up power in accordance with its term of office. Haftar launched a campaign against the GNC and its Islamic fundamentalist allies. His campaign allowed elections to take place to replace the GNC, but then developed into a civil war. Guess you can't win them all...
, airport authorities said.
"Mitiga airport has been targeted by fire this morning, the first day of Eid al-Adha
...a major Moslem holiday, marked by animal sacrifice and ritual rioting...
", the airport's management said in a statement on Facebook, referring to the three-day Moslem holiday that began on Sunday.
Air traffic was suspended "until further notice", the statement added, alongside photos showing columns of smoke rising from the runway and parked planes.
Haftar launched an offensive to take Libya's capital in early April, but encountered stiff resistance, resulting in months of stalemate in southern Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
His self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord had on Saturday agreed to a U.N.-sponsored humanitarian truce
..The purposes of a truce are twofold: 1.) bring up more arms, ammunition, and reinforcements; and 2.) get the enemy to relax his vigilance. A
truce is not the same thing as a
ceasefire, and a
ceasefire doesn't mean you have to stop shooting...
for Eid al-Adha, although the GNA had listed conditions, including a cessation of troop movements.
Late Sunday a joint statement from the United Arab Emirates, the United States, La Belle France, Italia and the UK welcomed the U.N. truce for the Moslem holiday and said they were "ready to assist the U.N. mission in monitoring the observance of the truce and address any attempt to break it."
But the GNA blamed Haftar's forces for the attack against the airport, and for a separate alleged attack in the Soug al-Jomaa district of Tripoli.
"Haftar's militias have violated the truce twice," GNA front man Mustafa al-Mejii told AFP.
"The first time targeted a home in Soug al-Jomaa, wounding three civilians, and the second hit Mitiga airport," he added.
Located east of Tripoli, Mitiga is a former military airbase that has been used by civilian traffic since Tripoli's international airport suffered severe damage during fighting in 2014.
Mitiga is in a zone under the control of forces loyal to the U.N.-recognized GNA and has often been targeted.
"We have noted the coordinates of the rocket fire from zones controlled by Haftar's militias south of the capital" and passed them on to the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Mejii said.
Libyan TV channels also reported exchanges of fire around the road to the closed international airport on Sunday.
Over the past four months, 1,093 people have been killed in the fighting and 5,752 maimed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), while more than 120,000 people have been displaced.
Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qadaffy
...The late megalomaniac dictator of Libya, admired everywhere for his garish costumes, funny hats, harem of cutie
bodyguards, and incoherent ravings. As far as is known, he is the only person who's ever declared jihad on Switzerland...
|Posted by trailing wife 2019-08-13 00:00||
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