Heavy Anti-Aircraft Fire Over Libyan City
The Benghazi Airport was closed overnight and remained closed for much of the day because of heavy anti-aircraft fire around the city by various Islamist factions targeting the US drones that have been looming overhead since the attack on the US consulate earlier this week.
Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister said the US had authorization to use the drones over Benghazi, and initial speculation was that the airport was closed just to all the drones to operate without anything else in the air.
The government’s statement was ambiguous, saying that it was done for “security reasons,” but Deputy Interior Minister Sharif later said the decision to close the airport was directly related to the anti-aircraft fire and the fear that they might hit civilian aircraft.
Libya had one of the largest anti-aircraft stockpiles in Africa, and this was almost entirely looted after last year’s regime change. Many of the weapons have ended up abroad, but various factions inside Libya have loaded up on armament as well.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- CIA Running Anti-ISIS Drone Campaign in Syria - September 1st, 2015
- Three Dead After Clashes at Ukraine Parliament - September 1st, 2015
- Libyan Military Bans Iranians, Yemenis, and Pakistanis From Country - September 1st, 2015
- Senate Dems Declare Victory on Iran Deal as More Back Pact - September 1st, 2015
- Friendly Fire: Saudi Airstrike Kills Seven Allied Fighters in Central Yemen - September 1st, 2015