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Battle of Tripoli Airport

The Battle of Tripoli Airport was a battle of the Libyan Civil War (2014–present). It was fought in July and August 2014 between the Islamist New General National Congress Coalition (composed of the LROR and Misrata Brigades) and the Zintani Brigades, notably the Airport Security Battalion. The Libya Dawn link their name to their code-name for this battle, which they called Operation Libya Dawn.

Battle of Tripoli Airport
Part of the 2014 Libyan conflict
Tripoli Airport.jpg
Tripoli International Airport
Date13 July – 23 August 2014
(1 month, 1 week and 3 days)

Libya Dawn victory

  • Zintani forces and their allies withdraw on orders of Council of Deputies
  • Islamist armed groups take control of the airport
  • Airport now unused

Libya Zintani brigades

  • Airport Security Battalion

Supported by:

Libya Libya Dawn coalition

Supported by:

Commanders and leaders

Libya Nouri Abusahmain
(President of the GNC, disputed)
Libya Sadiq Al-Ghariani
(Grand Mufti)
Mohammed Hadia
(Operation Libya Dawn Commander)

Shaaban Hadia
(LROR Commander)


Situation in Tripoli mid June 2014; airport is further south

The Zintani Brigades had provided security for Tripoli International Airport since the 2011 War which overthrew Gadhafi.

After the defeat of Islamist politicians in the 2014 elections, the LROR and Misrata Brigades were faced with a largely anti-Islamist parliament. Their most powerful political ally, Nouri Abusahmain, was faced with an imminent loss of power, and they were likely to lose funding from the General National Congress. The anti-Islamist politicians who won the 2014 elections had previously tried to disband the LROR due to its attempted coup in 2013, and were able to do so after the election results.


On 13 July the Libya Dawn coalition launched their operation to seize the airport. Many aircraft were destroyed on the ground. The operation received public support from Grand Mufti Sadiq Al-Ghariani.

On 23 August 2014, Zintani forces withdrew from the airport. They claimed that they withdrew because they had been instructed to do so by the parliament. This was later confirmed by parliamentary sources.


Following the retreat of Zintani forces, Islamists engaged in a campaign against Zintanis in Tripoli, many of whom have now disappeared.[clarification needed] The LROR and Central Shield also burnt houses of politicians who had won the 2014 elections.

Two days after the battle ended, a small number of Islamist GNC members convened and proclaimed themselves a "reconvened" GNC. They have not been recognized by foreign governments, who still recognize the Council of Deputies as the Libyan parliament.

It is reported that at least 90% of the airport's facilities, and 20 airplanes, were destroyed in the fighting.[4] Flights to/from Tripoli now operate from Mitiga International Airport.


  1. ^ a b c D. Kirkpatrick, David; Schmitt, Eric (August 25, 2014). "Egypt and United Arab Emirates Said to Have Secretly Carried Out Libya Airstrikes". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Daleh, Mustafa (August 25, 2014). "Dawn of Libya forces impose control on Tripoli". Al-Monitor. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Muhamed Juma; Amro Hassan (24 August 2014). "Islamist militias seize main Libya airport as conflict deepens". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 August 2014.