On Monday, Libyan air force units
loyal to General Kahlifa Haftar struck positions of the Misrata militia in Tripoli. The militia has been in a prolonged battle at and near the Tripoli international airport with allies of Haftar, the Zintan brigades. The battle has moved closer to the center of Tripoli now as unidentified militia have fired Grad rockets into two upscale districts killing three people according to local residents. The area is home to many foreign brand outlets including Marks and Spencer, and Nike and fancy cafes.
There were reports that six people had also been injured in the attacks but none of the casualties had been confirmed as yet by the Health Ministry. On its Facebook page a group of rebels
from Misrata called Libya Dawn claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks. The government
ordered a satellite provider to shut down two of its own television stations as they are said to be controlled by pro-Misrata groups. No doubt this is to prevent pro-Islamist opinions being voiced. The Egyptian government did the same thing in Egypt. Sky News
reported that the two stations had stopped broadcasting on Tuesday. The Egyptian company NileSat runs the communications satellites providing the services to the station. Many in the government have fled to the safety of the eastern city of Tobruk where the parliament has been meeting.
Haftar's forces have been trying to wrest back control of Benghazi and his own bases from an umbrella group of Islamist militia who control the city. At least three people are reported killed and eight wounded in recent Benghazi clashes according to a local hospital representative. Western powers including officials from France, the US, EU, and Egypt have all denied any involvement in the Tripoli bombing attack. Haftar claims
that he launched the strikes as part of a joint international operation.
The unidentified planes launched strikes on four targets associated with the Misrata rebel group Libya Dawn. A senior representative of Haftar's Operation Dignity
also claimed responsibility for the attack. That source
also told a New York Times journalist that the bombs were dropped by a Sukhoi Su-24 plane and was a joint operation of Haftar's forces and the "international community". There are no listings
of the Sukhoi S--24 as part of Libya's little remaining air force. However, some of the planes were sold to Libya during the Gadaffi era. The plane is from the Soviet era.
Egyptian security sources said that air traffic between Libya and Egypt had been suspended for six hours overnight for "security reasons". This all sounds very suspicious given Haftar's past links with the CIA but the linkage in this case could be with Egypt and al-Sisi. Haftar has even suggested that he would like to be the el-Sisi of Libya. His Operation Dignity
mimics el-Sisi's attack on the Muslim Brotherhood. As well as attacking Islamist bases in Benghazi, Haftar's allies in the Zintan Brigades attacked and burned parliament and kidnapped Islamist lawmakers and officials back in May as shown on the appended video. In spite of this the group remained in charge of security at the Tripoli international airport until recent clashes with Misrata militia.