Flights were resumed on Saturday at Tripoli’s Maitiqa airport after a five-day closure caused by Monday’s fierce fighting which claimed the lives of 20 people and damaged several aircraft.
The mood in the city is far from celebratory, however, as the attackers continued to regroup vowing more attacks against the Special Deterrence Force (SDF), the Salafist militia that controls the airport.
A meeting was held yesterday in Tajoura, Tripoli’s Islamist-controlled eastern suburb, in which local militia commanders have agreed to join forces against the SDF. Two militias from Misrata were said to have joined them.
Militias affiliated with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in cities across Libya's western region will soon announce the establishment of a unified military command, several LIFG figures have said over the last two days.
Tareq Darman al-Werfalli, commander of LIFG’s al-Ehsan Battalion, said: “Coordination is underway between security and military forces in the central and western regions to correct the path of the revolution”. LIFG supporters on social media said participants would include militias from Zuwarah, Ajailat, Zawya, Gharyan, Tajoura, Msallata, Zliten and Misrata.
In a move aimed at showing support for the SDF, Fayez Sarraj, head of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), visited the airport on Sunday accompanied by members of GNA’s Presidency Council.