Libya closes capital airport
Tripoli’s international airport was closed and flights rerouted after a series of overnight rocket attacks rendered all but meaningless a ceasefire announced by the United Nations days earlier.
Iran Press/Africa:Inbound flights were being sent to the city of Misrata, Libyan television reported, noting that there were no reports of injuries from the attacks. The Maitiga International Airport’s Facebook page said that no planes were damaged in the violence.
The incidents came a little more than a day after militants attacked the headquarters of the National Oil Corp. in Tripoli. The assault, which was claimed by ISIS in a statement that also declared the nation’s oil fields a “legitimate target,” dealt a powerful blow to a sovereign institution that oversees the OPEC member’s oil wealth.
The capital, which is notionally run by the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, has become the arena for the latest burst of fighting to convulse Libya since the 2011 ouster and killing of Muammar al-Qaddafi. Clashes there over the past few weeks have left more than 60 people dead and about 100 others wounded.
A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Libya pumped about 970,000 barrels a day in August, an increase of 310,000 from July. Even so, the output level is far below the 1.6 million barrels a day Libya produced prior to the 2011 uprising against al-Qaddafi.
Much of oil-rich eastern Libya is controlled by former general Khalifa Haftar and his self-style Libyan National Army. He has used his clout there to influence the fate of a UN-backed plan to restore order.