Washington Embassy calls for halting Hifter forces' attacks on Mitiga airport
The US embassy in Libya has called for an end to repeated attacks by retired Major General Khalifa Hifter on the Mitiga airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli, and called for an end to the military escalation in Libya.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening shortly after a new missile strike on the only civilian airport open in Tripoli; the embassy said the attacks on the airport endangered Libyan civilians seeking to perform the pilgrimage.
The safety and security of civilian air traffic and infrastructure were vital to facilitate trade and the delivery of humanitarian supplies to all Libyans, and parties to the conflict should respect that.
Mitiga airport authorities halted traffic as a precaution after two Grad rockets landed at the airstrip, and flights to and from the airport were later announced.
According to Al Jazeera sources, the rockets were fired from positions where Major General Hifter's forces are stationed southeast of the capital.
In the past few days, the airport has been repeatedly bombed when hundreds of Libyan pilgrims were preparing to travel for the hajj, and some missiles almost hit planes taking off.
In the same statement, issued on Wednesday evening, the US embassy called for an immediate end to the military escalation in Libya, and return to the resumption of the political process under the auspices of the United Nations.
The embassy itself also expressed concern over the aerial bombardment of civilians in the southern city of Marzouq (southern Libya) in the past two days, describing it as continuing violence. More than forty people were injured and dozens more.
The US embassy reiterated its concern about continued instability near Tripoli and expressed support for the truce called for by UN envoy Ghassan Salama during the Eid al-Adha holiday.