A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Damage to Tripoli Airport

As Greece joins other Western countries in pulling its nationals out of Tripoli in Libya, in Greece's case by sea (The US and UK evacuated overland to Tunisia), the damage to Tripoli International Airport from weeks of militias battling to control the airport is apparent. Yesterday a ceasefire was announced to allow firefighters to fight the huge oil tank fire that has been raging since earlier this week.  But that ceasefire collapsed today, and heavy fighting is reported again. This afternoon, there are reports of large protests in Tripoli's main squares, suggesting popular outrage t how the militia fighting has cut Tripoli off from the rest of the world may be reaching a boil.

Some photos from the Internet give a sense of the extensive damage to the airport. But the loss of passenger revenues, the losses in destroyed airframes and the burning fuel in the tank fire must be enormous. Some accounts say 90% or more of the aircraft on the ground when the fighting erupted have been damaged or destroyed.

About July 14:

From July 20, struck by a rocket:

 Recently, from Twitter:

From NPR:

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