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  • Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fire during fighting with Eastern forces in Ain Zara in Tripoli, Libya April 20, 2019.

    Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fire during fighting with Eastern forces in Ain Zara in Tripoli, Libya April 20, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 April 2019

Libya is currently immersed in a violent struggle for power between forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and Fayez Al-Sarraj.

The only functioning airport in Tripoli has reopened after closing earlier today due to the ongoing battle for Libya's capital city, aviation authorities said via social media on Sunday.

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The authorities announced  that the Mitiga Airport, which was previously closed due to airstrikes,  had resumed civilian flights. 

A Reuters reporter and several residents said they saw an aircraft circling for more than 10 minutes over the capital late on Saturday, and that it made a humming sound before opening fire on several areas.

The aircraft was heard again shortly after midnight when it would attack another site in the vicinity of the Libyan capital.

Residents were unable to confirm whether or not the aircraft was a fighter jet or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), as previous reports suggested that the forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar had used drones to strike the capital city. 

Tripoli is currently home to an estimated 2.5 million residents who either lived there prior to the war or fled to the city after being displaced due to violence.

Despite the brief closure of this installation, the Government of National Accord reported that the Misrata Airport, a city 200 km to the east of Tripoli, had remained open.

The situation around Tripoli is still considered very tense as the Libyan National Army, under the command of Haftar, continue their two-week-long offensive to capture the capital city from the Government of National Accord. 

In a rare move, both the United States and Russia said they could not support a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya.

Russia said they would object to any U.K.-drafted resolution that blamed the forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar for the recent violence in Tripoli.

The U.S. did not provide a reason for their objection, but some believe Washington's decision to quietly back Haftar came shortly after his phone call with President Donald Trump last week. ​​​​​​​

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