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Libya High Council condemns Haftar airport bombing

June 8, 2019 at 10:44 am

A fighter loyal to the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) keeps position near the Salah al-Din military compound, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on 7 May 2019 [Mahmud TURKIA/AFP/Getty]

Libya’s High Council of State has denounced the bombing of an airport and field hospital by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar.

In a statement issued yesterday, the council stressed that “the violations committed by Haftar” are added daily to his record of war crimes. “These violations,” the council added, “only confirm his readiness, and that of those behind him, to destroy everything in order to seize power”.

The council also condemned Haftar’s air raids on a field hospital near ​​As-Sawani and a school in Az-Zawiya, both west of Libyan capital Tripoli.

The statement called on the UN Support Mission in Libya, the UN Security Council, and all relevant parties to take a strong and clear position against these violations.

For its part, the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord (GNA) stressed that the “criminal acts” committed by Haftar’s forces – which include targeting densely populated areas – are a “desperate attempt to intimidate and terrorise civilians”.

Read: Egypt sends more arms to Libya’s Haftar

Haftar’s forces – known as the Libyan National Army (LNA) – on Thursday conducted an air strike on the military section of Mitiga International Airport, the only functioning airport in Tripoli. The attack hit the airport runway just before a relief plane was slated to take off for the southern city of Ghat, which has been ravaged by floods this week.

The strike was the second attack on the airport in two days.

The LNA also this week bombed a field hospital in As-Sawani. An Al Jazeera correspondent in Libya quoted an official from the GNA’s Ministry of Health, who indicated that some members of the hospital’s medical staff were injured in the attack.

The attacks form part of a two-month offensive by Haftar’s LNA in a bid to take Tripoli, which is held by the internationally-recognised GNA. However, despite months of violence and scores of casualties, the LNA has thus far failed to breach the defences of Tripoli’s southern suburbs.

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