Haftar forces say they hit Misrata air base

Forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar carried out several raids against the Misrata air base. (AFP/File)
Updated 06 August 2019

Haftar forces say they hit Misrata air base

  • Many of the government’s best equipped and most seasoned fighters come from Misrata

TRIPOLI: Forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said they launched air strikes early Tuesday against an air base in third city Misrata held by government loyalists.

“Our air force carried out several raids against the Misrata air base, targeting anti-air defenses as well as a Turkish aircraft transporting ammunition, drones and missiles,” Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Pro-Haftar television channel Libya Al-Hadath said a Turkish Ilyushin aircraft “was destroyed as it landed at the Misrata base.”

It aired footage, which could not be independently verified, of the alleged strikes.

Forces loyal to the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) did not immediately confirm or deny the reported attack.

Haftar forces launched an offensive in April to wrest Tripoli from the GNA.

Many of the government’s best equipped and most seasoned fighters come from Misrata, which is east of the Libyan capital.

Tuesday’s airstrikes came a day after the GNA and a local official reported the death of at least 42 people in a raid targeting a town hall meeting in southern Libya.

Dozens more were wounded in Sunday night’s attack which the GNA said was carried out by Haftar forces.

UN envoy Ghassan Salame has repeatedly denounced an escalation of violence between the two camps and called for negotiations.

Last week he proposed a cease-fire for Eid Al-Adha, due to start on Aug. 10.

The World Health Organization says the battle for Tripoli has left nearly 1,100 people dead and wounded more than 5,750, while forcing more than 100,000 civilians to flee their homes.


UAE airports screen passengers from China amid coronavirus outbreak

Updated 26 January 2020

UAE airports screen passengers from China amid coronavirus outbreak

  • Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports confirmed thermal screening had begun for people on direct flight from China
  • The death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 56 on Sunday morning, with the number of infected people also rising to almost 2000

DUBAI: Major airports in the UAE started screening passengers arriving from China over the weekend, as countries continued to step up precautions against the spread of the viral outbreak.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports confirmed thermal screening had begun following directives from the UAE’s Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Health.

“All passengers arriving on direct flights from the People’s Republic of China must receive thermal screening at the gate upon arrival and be provided with informational leaflets,” the Dubai Airports said in a statement.

The check-ups will be held at “secured, closed gates” by airport medical teams and the Dubai Health Authority, according to Dubai Airports, assuring it “will continue to provide medical teams with any and all support that may be required.”

The Abu Dhabi International Airport also released a six-point list of “preventive tips” for people travelling to China.

UAE officials earlier confirmed there were no cases of coronavirus in the country, adding it was “in constant touch with the World Health Organization (WHO) to find out latest updates, recommendations and procedures taken in this matter.”

“The health situation poses no grounds for concern and the ministry is closely following up on the situation to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” said the National Committee for International Health Regulations and the Control of Pandemics in a statement.

The death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 56 on Sunday morning, with the number of infected people also rising to almost 2000, according to Chinese authorities.

The contagion remained centered on the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, but more than a dozen other cities in the province have been locked down in fears of further spreading.

The previously unknown virus has caused global concern because of its similarity to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) pathogen, which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.