The Libyan government is weighing a request for international military assistance as fighting escalates in Tripoli.

In a written statement it said that “a potential request for international forces to solidify the state’s capabilities” had been discussed in an emergency session.

Tripoli international airport was bombarded by GRAD rockets and mortars on the night of 14 July. Ninety per cent of the planes at the airport have been destroyed and the control tower has been badly damaged according to government spokesman Ahmed Lamine.

The clashes are between anti-Islamist militias from the mountain town of Zintan, and Islamist-led forces from the port city of Misrata. The Zintan militias have controlled the airport since the 2011 uprising.

The fighting started on the morning of 13 July and is the worst Libya’s capital has seen since the 2011 uprising and comes as the country’s second city, Benghazi, is also seeing heavy fighting.

On 14 July the UN mission in Libya said it was temporarily pulling out of the country due to safety concerns.

Shell of aircraft after fighting at Tripoli Airport

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