No Fly-Zone Over Tripoli

Jan 24, 2020

On 22 January 2020, the Libyan National Army (LNA) paramilitary group — which declares itself the central authority of Libya despite a lack of recognition by most of the international community — announced a no-fly zone over the capital Tripoli, to include Mitiga International Airport (HLLM/MJI). The LNA accuses the Turkish government of using civilian flights as cover to transport weapons to the LNA’s rival, the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). The airport briefly suspended operations earlier in the day due to LNA rocket strikes targeting the facility; as of the latest reports on 23 January operations at the facility have resumed.

Analyst Comment: While the extent of the LNA’s air defense capabilities is unknown, the LNA does possess a nominal air force capable of enforcing a no-fly zone in airspace the group controls. Additionally, the LNA has demonstrated repeatedly that it is capable of disrupting aviation facilities using artillery and rocket strikes.

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