Four separate suicide bomb attacks hit the Benina airport today outside of the key Libyan city of Benghazi, killing at least 40 soldiers loyal to former General Khalifa Hifter’s faction, which is attempting to take the country over as well.
The Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shura Council claimed credit for the attacks, saying they were carried out with the help of Ansar al-Sharia, the militant faction the US has blamed for the Benghazi consulate attack.
The Shura Council has effectively controlled Benghazi for weeks now, with the occasional fight against rival militias or remnants of the military, most of which have joined up with Hifter’s forces at this point. It is believed they are trying to take the airport by Saturday to emphasize it during the Eid al-Fitr festival. The group emhpasized their interest in the airport was primarily because of heavy weaponry the Hifter faction is storing there.
The Shura Council is made up largely of Islamist militias from the area surrounding Benghazi, and reflects the growing split of the country along regional lines. The capital city of Tripoli is under the control of a separate militia faction, from nearby Misrata, and the new parliament is operating out of a tiny border town, but has little chance of reclaiming any lost territory.