As Fighting in the Captial Intensifies Zintanis Hold Airport
Fascinatingly although mainstream Misratan militias have joined the fray, the Zintani brigades most notably Sawaiq, Qa’aqa’a, and Madani maintain control of the airport. According to an article from CNN by Jomana Karadsheh, UN officials have not only fled the country but are warning that a dangerous escalation is likely. Furthermore, it appears that Misratan forces are regrouping for another push on the airport.
Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, Tarek Mitri, head of its mission in Libya, issued a stark warning.”As the number of military actors mobilizing and consolidating their presence within the capital continues to grow, there is a mounting sense of a probable imminent and significant escalation in the conflict. The stakes are high for all sides,” Mitri said.”We are in the middle of an all-out confrontation between two major rival groups in the Libyan capital. That confrontation, born out of the deep political polarization, is playing itself out at the country’s international airport.” Mitri said.
Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz also addressed the Security Council. He warned of Libya heading toward becoming a “failed state.”Abdulaziz said Libya needed more international support and asked the United Nations to consider a “stabilization and institution-building mission.”
It is quite likely that the anti-Islamist current are pushing for foreign peacekeepers under the guise of trainers, but the international political dimension is not able to move along that line given polarization in Europe post-Crimea annexation.