The spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Wednesday, January 22, that a no-fly zone is now in effect over Tripoli. According to the LNA, any military or civilian use of Mitiga International Airport (MJI) is considered to be a breach of the ceasefire agreement. The spokesman also warned that civilian or military planes that take off from MJI will be targeted and destroyed. Earlier on Wednesday, the LNA claimed that its forces shot down a Turkish drone after it had taken off from MJI.
Operations at MJI were reportedly suspended on Wednesday after the airport was targeted by indirect fire. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages and the Government of National Accord (GNA) blamed the LNA for carrying out the attack. As of Wednesday evening (local time) it is unclear if operations have resumed at the airport.
Disruptions to MJI operations are expected over the coming days. Further attacks targeting the airport are also possible.
Members of the international community continue to try to broker a ceasefire and political agreement between the GNA and the LNA. A ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Russia was announced on January 12, but localized breaches are ongoing, and tensions remain high.
The LNA launched an offensive on Tripoli on April 4, 2019, and prompted evacuations of foreigners from Tripoli on April 7, 2019. LNA and GNA airstrikes have been sporadically reported since April 8, 2019. The bulk of recent fighting has been concentrated in the southern suburbs of the capital.
Individuals flying via MJI are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate flight delays, and confirm flight reservations.
The security environment in Libya remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas (with appropriate security protocols in place), other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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