File photo: Travellers arrive at the Mitiga International Airport after its reopening in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Image Credit: AFP

Tripoli: 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.

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 Daesh in a statement that also declared the nation’s oilfields a “legitimate target,” dealt a powerful blow to a sovereign institution that oversees the Opec member’s oil wealth.

After being driven out of its last stronghold in central Libya, Daesh is making a comeback, aided by conflicts among two rival administrations and dozens of militias.

After being driven out of its last stronghold in central Libya, Daesh is making a comeback, aided by conflicts among two rival administrations and dozens of militias.


The capital, which is notionally run by the internationally-recognised government of Prime Minister Fayaz Al Sarraj, has become the arena for the latest burst of fighting to convulse Libya since the 2011 ouster and killing of Muammar Gaddafi. Clashes there over the past few weeks have left more than 60 people dead and about 100 others wounded.

The United Nations’ mission in Libya had announced on September 9 that parties involved in the fighting had agreed to consolidate a negotiated ceasefire, as well as prepare to withdraw forces from sovereign locations and critical infrastructure.

A member of the Organisation 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 Gaddafi.

Much of oil-rich eastern Libya is controlled by former general Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army. He has used his clout there to influence the fate of a UN-backed plan to restore order.