Al Jazeera focuses on the challenges of air travel into Western Libya. Over the past year, al Jazeera reports that Haftar’s forces have targeted Mitiga Airport, Tripoli’s only international airport on a near daily basis. Foreign airlines stopped flying directly into Mitiga some five years ago, and must fly in and out of Misrata airport, a three hour drive from Tripoli. One civilian pilot said that the experience of flying into Tripoli is terrifying, despite government attempts to protect the airport, while passengers caught inside during an LNA shelling campaign described chaos and terror in the airport.
Misrata airport must now contend with some 5000 passengers daily, a near 10-fold increase since fighting escalated last year. Tripoli’s GNA government is calling on the international community to punish Haftar for targeting a civilian airport, and warned it may have to change its strategy and “go on the offensive” to push Haftar’s forces away from Tripoli.
The LNA has consistently defended its attacking of Mitiga Airport by pointing out that Turkey, who backs the GNA, uses it as a military facility to launch its drone strikes in the ongoing conflict.