Missile attack disrupts air traffic at Tripoli’s only functioning airport

Mitiga is the only working airport in Tripoli. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 11 July 2019

Missile attack disrupts air traffic at Tripoli’s only functioning airport

TRIPOLI: The Libyan capital's only functioning airport, Mitiga, temporary halted air traffic on Sunday after the facility was struck by missiles, according to a post on the airport authorities' Facebook page.

Three Afriqiyah airlines employees were injured and a plane was hit. No immediate comment was available from the carrier.

An airplane coming from Tunisia Carthage airport to Mitiga was redirected earlier Sunday to Misrata international airport that serves the Mediterranean coastal city of Misrata in Libya instead.

Air space re-opened hours later and carrier companies began receiving passengers to complete the rest of their re-scheduled flights for the day shortly.

Mitiga is the only working airport in Tripoli, which has been under attack for three months by the eastern-based Libyan National Army commanded by Khalifa Haftar. 

Speaking during a press conference in Benghazi, Libyan National Army Spokesperson, Ahmed Al-Mismari, said the rival government in Tripoli has lost their air force and are relying on drone aircraft.

He also said that any buildings that have erected antennas would be considered a legitimate target for the Libyan army.

During the conference, Al-Mismari showed a video showing that Daesh’s presence in the country is fading.

(With Reuters)


US blasts Houthis over ‘ticking time bomb’ tanker in Red Sea

Updated 33 min 47 sec ago

US blasts Houthis over ‘ticking time bomb’ tanker in Red Sea

  • Iran-backed militias renege on agreement to allow UN inspectors aboard stricken vessel holding 1.4 million barrels of oil

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: The US blasted Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen on Sunday for reneging on a deal to allow UN teams to board a rusting oil storage vessel that threatens an environmental disaster in the Red Sea.

The FSO Safer has been moored 7 km off the coast of Yemen since 1988. It fell into Houthi hands in March 2015, when they took control of the coast around the port city of Hodeidah.

The Houthis briefly bowed to pressure last month and agreed to allow a team of UN engineers to visit the ship, before changing their minds and restating their previous demands for the revenue from the oil. As the vessel’s condition deteriorates there are fears that the 1.4 million barrels of oil it contains will start to seep out.

“The Houthis have failed to follow through on their agreement to allow a UN team on to the Safer,” the White House National Security Council said on Sunday.

“They are courting environmental and humanitarian disaster by obstructing and delaying. For the good of Yemen and the region, the Houthis must allow the UN aboard the Safer.”

A recent water leak into the tanker’s engine prompted warnings of a major disaster.

“The time has come for a resolute response for an outcome,” the Yemen Embassy in Washington said on Sunday. 

“There cannot be more delays or deliberations. UN inspectors must immediately access and assess the Safer oil tanker even without Houthi permission.”

The UK echoed its concerns. “There is another floating disaster off the Yemeni coast with potentially as massive an ecological footprint as the shockwave that engulfed Beirut,” former Middle East minister Alistair Burt said. “The politics preventing safe evacuation of the oil must stop immediately.”