The rapidly escalating civil war in Libya saw the first air strikes on Misurata, the country’s third largest city, since the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi three years ago.
Jets under the control of General Khalifa Heftar, a militia commander who was a central figure in Libya’s revolution, fired missiles on Sunday morning at the city’s international airport, just half an hour before a Turkish Airlines flight was due to leave for Istanbul. There were no reports of casualties.
The Libyan Air Force jets went on to attack the country’s largest steel plant and an air force academy near the airport, which are under the control of Islamist forces. “It was a shock. We did not see it coming,” said a spokesman for the airport, adding that the Turkish Airlines jet was preparing to taxi to the runway when the missiles struck.