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.


Ethiopia releases Lebanese businessman held since last week

Updated 4 min ago

Ethiopia releases Lebanese businessman held since last week

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Ethiopia has released a Lebanese businessman who had been detained in the African nation since last week.
The ministry said Sunday that Hassan Jaber will head from Ethiopia to the African nation of Gabon and later will return to Lebanon.
On Friday, the ministry had summoned Ethiopia's charge d'affaires demanding information about Jaber, whom it said was detained in Addis Ababa on Sept. 7.
It informed the Ethiopian diplomat that Beirut wants "clear answers" by Monday, otherwise Lebanon would take countermeasures.
Some Lebanese media outlets have speculated that Israel or the United States might have been behind Jaber's arrest.
The ministry did not give any explanation why Jaber was held in Ethiopia.