A spokesperson for the Khalifa Haftar-led Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed that Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA)-aligned forces launched airstrikes against LNA positions near Al-Aziziya (Jafara district) on Saturday, April 6. The strikes come as LNA forces had briefly seized the non-operational Tripoli International Airport (TIP) on Friday, April 5, before reportedly being ousted by GNA-aligned troops. According to local reports, clashes between the two sides continues some 30 km (18 mi) south of Tripoli as of Saturday.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports claim commercial flights at Mitiga International Airport (MJI) were periodically disrupted on Saturday to allow for fast jets to use the runways; nevertheless, MJI remains open and operational.
Additional clashes are likely in the Tripoli area over the coming hours and days, though local reporting suggests that it is not in Haftar's interest to trigger widespread conflict in the capital as it would undermine his cultivated image as a guarantor of security in Libya. A heightened security presence and disruptions to movement are nonetheless to be expected in Tripoli amid the state of emergency declared over the capital by GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on Thursday, April 4, following the LNA's announcement that they would advance on GNA-aligned positions in Tripolitania region.
The LNA advance comes ahead of expected unity government negotiations set to take place during the National Conference in Ghadames on April 14-16. On April 6, UN envoy Ghassan Salame confirmed the international body still intends to hold talks despite the recent fighting.
Libya has been divided by rival governments and factions with their own militias and political parties since the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. The security situation in Libya remains precarious and the country is likely to remain unstable in the near term amid the ongoing civil war.
Individuals in Tripoli are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the affected area, and refrain from nonessential movement within the city.
The security environment in Libya remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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