By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 20 July 2014:
Five people were been killed and 20 injured in the worst clashes at . . .[restrict]Tripoli International Airport since hostilities began there one week ago.
A source at the airport told the Libya Herald the barrage of missile fire had been unrelenting throughout the day and two planes had been destroyed in the attacks, one an Afriqiyah Airbus, the other a Libya Airlines CRJ.
The deadly clashes have spread beyond the airport and the adjoining district of Gasr Bin Gashir to the suburbs of Janzour and Abu Saleem where residents have reported heavy shelling. Several buildings have been damaged in the assault but no civilian casualties have been reported.
It appears that Zintani Qaaqaa and Sawaq brigades, backed by reinforcements, have pushed back the loose collection of Misratan-led forces which began the assault on the airport. They are now reportedly in control of the Airport Road as far as Abu Sleem and have pinned down 60 technicals in Gasr Bin Gashir. Most of those living in Gasr Bin Gashir, which has been subjected to the worst of the fighting over the last week, have left.
Zintani forces have moved down the costal road to Janzour where they are firing on the local Janzour Fursan Brigade. Residents have not been able to flee the area because of the intensity of the fighting.
A care-home for disabled children has reportedly been damaged by the rockets there and heavy black smoke can be seen rising from the suburb. The area has been without power since 8 pm.
The Qaaqaa and Sawaq have a particular military advantage over the Misratis in that although they are described as Zintanis most know Tripoli intimately, having been born and raised there, notably in the west of the capital, including Janzour.