Libyan airport reopens following overnight airstrikes

Libyan airport reopens following overnight airstrikes
A wave of bombings rocked the Libyan capital on Saturday night.
2 min read
21 April, 2019
Libya's Mitiga Airport has closed and re-opened throughout the war [Getty]
An airport in the Libyan capital reopened on Sunday, despite a wave of airstrikes targeting Tripoli on Saturday night as part of an ongoing offensive from rebel forces.

Aircraft were spotted circling above Tripoli last night, leading to Mitiga International Airport to close, but which re-opened early Sunday - the capital's only functioning airport.

The strikes hit an army base south of the capital Tripoli, Reuters reported.

Tripoli is run by a UN-backed government which has been under assault by forces allied to rogue General Khalifa Haftar for the past two weeks.

Haftar is backed by the UAE, Egypt, Russia and other foreign powers, while he also appears to have won the support of US President Donald Trump.

The White House said US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Haftar, to discuss "a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system". 

The White House statement said Trump recognised Haftar's "significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources", during the conversation on Monday.

Government forces announced the launch of a "new phase" in the battle for Tripoli with a counter-offensive against Haftar forces.

"We have launched a new phase of attack. Orders were given early this morning to advance and gain ground," said Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for the Government of National Accord's (GNA's) forces.

The UN says more than 220 people have been killed in fighting in Libya, since the start of the offensive.