Libya’s UN-backed government launches airstrikes on east-based army

21 August 2019, Libya, Tripoli: A picture made available on 22 August 2019 shows fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez Serraj, firing their weapons during clashes with forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, at Al-Yarmouk frontline. Photo: Amru Salahuddien/dpa (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/picture alliance via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A picture made available on 22 August 2019 shows fighters of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez Serraj, firing their weapons during clashes with forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar. (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Libya’s UN-backed government on Tuesday said that it has launched airstrikes on the rival eastern-based army in southern Tripoli.

“The air force launched four airstrikes in Spe’a, Suq al-Khamis, and Emsehel areas in southern Tripoli,” said Mohamed Gununu, spokesman for the UN-backed government’s forces.

The airstrikes targeted “mercenaries and armored vehicles, including an Emirati armored vehicle,” the spokesman added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the east-based army announced the launch of three airstrikes on Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, targeting its military section.

For more than five months, Tripoli has been witnessing an armed conflict between the east-based army and the UN-backed government over control of the capital.

Libya has been suffering escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of the former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.