Aftermath of Airstrikes Against an Islamist Held Libyan Town

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The aftermath of airstrikes in the Libyan town of Zuwarah.

Large food supplies were destroyed and infrastructure severely damaged when missiles landed on a warehouse for food storage and a chemical factory.

At least eight people were killed and 24 others wounded, including 10 African workers.

These airstrikes were carried out on December 2 by the forces of retired General Khalifa Haftar, who are trying to recapture areas in east Libya from Islamist rebels. Another wave of airstrikes, 10
days later, targeted areas in Zuwarah’s outskirts near the border with Tunisia.

Residents also expressed their anger that General Haftar’s attacks are harming civilians.

Rebel leaders accused Egypt of providing Haftar’s forces with warplanes used in the attacks.

The recent series of airstrikes also targeted a rebel-held international airport in in the outskirts of Tripoli. The spokesman of the rebel security force that controls the airport said that the bombings
were carried out during two consecutive days. According to the spokesman, the attacks targeted the airport’s runway, causing minor injuries and damaging civilian homes near the airport.

A bloody conflict has pitted two Libyan governments against each other since August. The country is torn between militias that were once united to oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Despite recent United Nations mediation to broker a peace accord, fighting between the warring factions continues to weaken this fragile country. The prosperity to which Libyans have long aspired seem to many like a far-fetched hope.

Shot list:

2 M/S of a destroyed warehouse

C/S of food bags

M/S and C/S of a burnt truck

Various shots from the hospital

Various shots from Zuwarah Square

Various shots of streets of Tripoli

Various shots of destroyed houses near Mitiga International Airport

Various shots from inside the Mitiga International Airport


(Arabic, man) Unnamed employee

(00:30) We were working normally at the offices when were caught by surprise by missiles falling on the warehouses, killing 8 persons and wounding 14 others. These warehouses provided food supplies from Sabrata to Ras Jdair (00:54).

(Arabic, man) Issa al-Mansuri, a resident of Zuwarah

(01:39) We condemn these bombings by Haftar’s air force. They are targeting civilians and innocent foreigners who have nothing to do with [this conflict]. These airstrikes are destroying infrastructure and will not solve the problem. We want a ceasefire by any possible means, we do not want airstrikes in addition to the fighting. We have enough weapons to hold war on different front lines and they are bringing in weapons and pilots from abroad. How will they solve the problem this way? (02:05).

(Arabic, man) Mubarak al-Nayli, resident of Tripoli

(02:48) Life in Tripoli is relatively stable but certain armed groups are breaching security by bombing indiscriminately (03:01).

(03:07) This has [scared] school children and caused a fuel shortage, and we faced a shortage in electricity, too, but it is fixed now (03:18).

(Arabic, man) Unnamed resident of Tripoli

(03:46) Instead of bombing military bases, [Haftar] is targeting the homes of civilians who have nothing to do with military action (04:04).

(Arabic, man) Al-Sader al-Turki, Spokesperson of rebel security unit at Mitiga Airport

(04:48) The airstrikes carried out by the so-called Haftar’s group did not affect our morale. These warplanes do not belong to the Libyan air force; they were brought from another country (05:13).