In wake of mystery air attacks on Tripoli this week, Tunisia and Egypt’s Cairo airports cancel flights to and from Libya
Flights to and from Libya were reportedly cancelled in Tunisia and at Egypt’s Cairo International Airport on Thursday after a mystery plane attacked militias in Tripoli earlier this week.
The flight shut down comes amidst weeks of rumours that Algeria and Egypt are planning military invasions of the war-torn country.
Libyan news agency LANA and Egyptian officials said authorities had cancelled flights for security reasons, while a Tunisian Aviation Authority spokesman gave no explanation, Reuters reported.
MEE sources in Libya say, in addition to concerns about the mystery plane from earlier this week, there may be a fear that two Tripoli airports now held by Misrata Islamists could be used to send an aircraft on a suicide mission.
Flights from Tunis into Libya’s airport in the eastern city of Labraq, as well as flights between Egypt’s Alexandria airport and Libya, were still operating, Libyan aviation officials told Reuters. Flights into Tobruk, also in eastern Libya, were still running.
Uncertainty has gripped Tripoli as the country continues to slide into a possible civil war. In recent weeks, the country’s main airport has been completely destroyed, while a key oil refinery on the city’s outskirts has been repeatedly shelled, as rival militias continue to battle for control of the capital.
On Sunday night, however, the appearance of a mystery plane above Tripoli’s skies added a fresh layer of intrigue.
Islamist-leaning Libyan sources pointed the finger at rogue general, Khalifa Haftar, battling the Islamist Misrata-led militias in the east, claiming that he was doing the bidding of his Western backers.
The West promptly responded with a plethora of denials, while NATO stayed tight lipped.
Haftar, who has previously used aircraft in Benghazi to attack Islamist brigades though with mixed success, eventually emerged more than a day later to take responsibility.
Middle East Eye