Fighting in Libyan capital delays flights

Khalifa Haftar, Libya's eastern-based commander, salutes as he participates in a security conference in Benghazi recently. (Reuters)
Updated 17 October 2017
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Fighting in Libyan capital delays flights

TRIPOLI: Civilian flights were suspended for several hours at the Libyan capital’s Mitiga airport on Monday evening and Tuesday morning as rival armed groups clashed nearby, a spokesman said.
Sporadic shooting could be heard early on Tuesday near Mitiga, a military air base near the center of Tripoli that has also hosted civilian flights since the international airport was largely destroyed by fighting in 2014.
The airport had reopened by midday. “The flights were suspended but the airport is working normally now,” said Mitiga spokesman Khaled Abukhrais.
The clashes began when the Special Deterrence Force (Rada), a group that controls Mitiga and operates as an anti-crime unit aligned with the UN-backed government, conducted raids in the nearby neighborhood of Ghrarat.
Rada spokesman Ahmed bin Salem said the group targeted in the raids had tried to attack the airport area after a “wanted drug dealer” had been killed when he fired on a Rada patrol.
“The area of Ghrarat is now under the control of our forces and it’s being treated as military zone so we can clear any resistance,” Bin Salem said.
One member of Rada had been killed and two wounded, and there were several casualties among their opponents, he said.
Tripoli is controlled by various armed groups that have built local power bases since Libya’s 2011 revolution.
There have been fewer heavy confrontations in the capital since groups linked to a previous, self-declared government were pushed out of the city earlier this year, but armed skirmishes, kidnapping and other criminal activity are still common.


Trump says Iran in turmoil since US withdrew from nuke deal

US President Donald Trump. (AP)
Updated 17 July 2018
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Trump says Iran in turmoil since US withdrew from nuke deal

  • Trump in May pulled the United States from the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015
  • Iran’s economy is already suffering from the sanctions that Washington re-imposed after walking away from the nuclear agreement

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump asserted Monday that Iran was being roiled by nationwide riots since he pulled out of an international nuclear deal and that Washington supports the protesters.
Trump, interviewed after his summit in Helsinki with President Vladimir Putin, said that Russia still supported the nuclear accord because it does business with the regime in Tehran, so the deal is in Moscow’s interest.
“It is not good for us or for the world, but they have riots in all their cities,” Trump told Fox News.
“The inflation is rampant, going through the roof. And not that you want to hurt anybody, but that regime wouldn’t let the people know that we are behind them 100 percent.
“They are having big protests all over the country, probably as big as they have ever had before. And battles happened since I terminated that deal, so we will see,” he added.
Over the objections of allies, Trump in May pulled the United States from the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015.
He reimposed US sanctions that had been suspended in return for controls on Tehran’s nuclear program, effectively barring many multinational firms from doing business in Iran.
Iran has been defiant in the face of the US move, saying it has left the Trump administration internationally isolated.
“The illegal logic of the United States is not supported by any of the international organizations,” President Hassan Rouhani said at the weekend.
Iran has faced mounting economic woes since Trump’s withdrawal announcement, with inflation rising sharply.
Its currency has plunged almost 50 percent in value in the past six months against the US dollar, prompting a rare strike earlier this month by traders in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar.
There have also been reports of brief scuffles and small-scale protests in recent weeks although not of mass demonstrations.