Libya authorities close Tripoli’s only airport over safety

Travellers arrive at the Mitiga International Airport after its reopening on September 7, 2018, in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. / AFP / Mahmud TURKIA
Updated 17 September 2018
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Libya authorities close Tripoli’s only airport over safety

  • Transport Minister Hisham Boushkiwat called the closing of Mitiga airport “unfortunate”
  • The UN-backed Tripoli government handed control of the facility from one militia to another, prompting the Transport Ministry to order its closure on security concerns

BENGHAZI: Libyan authorities have closed the capitol Tripoli’s only functioning airport, diverting traffic to another one at the nearby militia-controlled city of Misrata.
The Monday move came after the UN-backed Tripoli government handed control of the facility from one militia to another, prompting the Transport Ministry to order its closure on security concerns.
Deputy Transport Minister Hisham Boushkiwat called the closing of Mitiga airport “unfortunate” but said that in the past “some things inside the airport have threatened traveler safety.”
He underlined ongoing nearby militia conflict in the capital as another reason behind the closure, but added that he hoped the airport would be reopened soon.
The airport has been closed in the past, including last week when it was attacked by missiles of an unknown provenance.


Iraqi forces launch anti-Daesh operation north of Baghdad

Updated 23 min 1 sec ago
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Iraqi forces launch anti-Daesh operation north of Baghdad

  • The mainly Shiite PMF have been an effective force against Daesh
  • This is the second phase of the operation dubbed “Will to Victory”

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s military said Saturday its troops in partnership with security agencies and paramilitary forces launched the second phase of an operation aimed at clearing remnants of the Daesh group from north of Baghdad and surrounding areas.
This is the second phase of the operation dubbed “Will to Victory,” which started two weeks earlier and targeted the area along the border with Syria. The military said the new target area is north of Baghdad and in the Diyala, Salahuddin and Anbar provinces.
Although Iraq declared victory against Daesh in July 2017, the extremists have turned into an insurgency and continue to carry out deadly attacks in the country.
The military said Iraqi troops, Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, the federal police and others are taking part in the operation supported by the Iraqis and the U.S-led international coalition.
On Saturday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi visited the operation room alongside the deputy head of the PMF, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.
Earlier this month, the Iraqi government moved to place the Iranian-backed militias under the command of the armed forces. The move was believed to be an attempt to curb the powerful militias, particularly amid rising tension between Iran and the US, the power brokers in Iraq.
The mainly Shiite PMF have been an effective force against Daesh and are a significant political force, with government ministers and 48 seats in the 329-member parliament.