BENGHAZI: A Libyan militia spokesman and a militant group say the local Islamic State affiliate has taken control of a civilian air base in the central city of Sirte —the group’s stronghold in the North African country.
Mohammed al-Shamia, spokesman for the 166 Battalion militia, says his group withdrew from the al-Qardabiya air base on Thursday.
The battalion answers to the militias who control the capital, Tripoli, and al-Shamia says they were forced to withdraw after his forces received no reinforcements from the capital.
Four years after fall of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Libya is mired in chaos. A statement from the local IS affiliate confirmed that the militants had seized the air base along with buildings from a Gadhafi-era mega-project known as the Great Man Made River.