Unknown assailants, presumably belonging to ISIS, fired rockets on an airfield being used by an anti-Islamist general in the eastern Libya. Rockets missed the target, fell short, and failed to cause any casualty or damage, as reported by the facility’s manager on Saturday. The international airport a little outside Labraq from where General Khalifa Haftar’s troops have been launching raids on Islamist’s strongholds in the east was the target of the rocket attacks.
The airport having military and civil terminals has come under heavy attacks in recent months. Derna, the Islamist stronghold 65 kilometers from the city of Labraq came under heavy air attacks by Egyptian and Libyan warplanes on Monday in retaliation to the killings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by the jihadists having allegiance to ISIS. Islamic State targeted a town near Al Qobah with suicide bombings in response to Derna attacks. The Islamist terrorist group caused death to 44 people and injuries to another 37, as told by the Health ministry on Saturday. Previously the death toll was put at 40; however, 4 more succumbed later.
With Tripoli and Benghazi airports becoming non-functional due to clashes, Labraq is one among a few airports in the North African nation that are still operational. Libya has been in turmoil ever since the ouster of the then dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the year 2011, and various rival terrorist groups have been trying to control parts of the country. The country has at least two rival parliaments and governments represented by militia and the so called legitimate government authorities. With the capture of its capital Tripoli by Islamic militia, the legitimate government has taken refuge in a town called Al Baida, only a few kilometers west of Labraq. Hence, the airstrikes on the airport controlled by anti-Islamist general are serious and fraught with danger for the existence of the “legitimate government.”