A war plane has launched air strikes on a western town in Libya allied with the internationally recognized government on Tuesday, in what officials described as an attack by the rival government controlling Tripoli.
Libya is increasingly divided, with the Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni’s recognised government, and his allies locked in a conflict with a rival faction that took over the capital and established its own self-declared government.
“The military jet attacked, hitting the airport in the western town of Zintan in the mountains near the Tunisian border,” Airport official from Zintan said, adding that limited damage was caused near the runway while there were no casualties.
But an air strike by the rival Tripoli government would be an escalation of its war with Thinni’s forces which had been operating out of the east.
Zintan airport said in a statement that “A warplane conducted an air strike on the airport of Zintan while passengers were about to depart. “Two flights were canceled for security.”
Defense officials from Thinni’s government accused the Tripoli faction of carrying out the attack.
There was no immediate response from the Tripoli authorities.
Four years after the NATO-backed war toppled Gaddafi, Western governments fear Libya is sliding deeper into war as the rival factions battle for control and the country’s oil wealth.
U.N. peace talks among key factions has made little concrete progress. But negotiations are expected to continue this month in an attempt to form a united government and end hostilities.