World

Who's Shelling Libya? Origin Of Airstrikes Unknown

Libya's largest airport has been overtaken by an Islamist militia group while a second round of airstrikes from an unknown origin pounded Tripoli.

Who's Shelling Libya? Origin Of Airstrikes Unknown
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In a sign of just how little control the Libyan government holds in its country, the embattled Tripoli International Airport has reportedly been captured by a militia group. 

The Zintan militias, seen as moderate nationalists more in line with government forces, had held the airport since Muammar Gaddafi's regime was toppled in 2011. 

But now reports suggest the Misrata brigades — an extremist Islamist militia group — have taken control of the strategic location after weeks of fighting. (Video via Press TV)

An analyst at the BBC calls this more of a "symbolic win" for the militias and that until the Libyan government takes control of key infrastructure such as airports and seaports that are currently run by the militia, "nothing has really changed on the ground."

Perhaps underscoring the Libyan government's lack of control is that, just hours after the airport takeover, airstrikes reportedly struck the extremist Misrata militia forces in the capital. But no one seems to know where they came from — and this isn't the first time it's happened either.

Al Jazeera reports that a renegade general based in Benghazi has claimed responsibility for both airstrikes, but noted earlier that Libya likely doesn't have the proper fighter jets to carry out these types of attacks.

According to the Financial Times, the Misrata militia blamed this latest round of airstrikes on Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, both of which have denied any involvement. 

That's not to say they haven't taken notice of the situation though. According to Daily News Egypt, Cairo will host talks on August 25 so that Libya's neighbors can discuss ways to stabilize the country.  

This video contains an image from Getty Images.