The Zintani Brigades had provided security for Tripoli International Airport since the 2011 War which overthrew Gadhafi.
After the defeat of Islamist politicians in the 2014 elections, the LROR and Misrata Brigades were faced with a largely anti-Islamist parliament. Their most powerful political ally, Nouri Abusahmain, was faced with an imminent loss of power, and they were likely to lose funding from the General National Congress. The anti-Islamist politicians who won the 2014 elections had previously tried to disband the LROR due to its attempted coup in 2013, and were able to do so after the election results.
On 13 July the Libya Dawn coalition launched their operation to seize the airport. Many aircraft were destroyed on the ground. The operation received public support from Grand MuftiSadiq Al-Ghariani.
On 23 August 2014, Zintani forces withdrew from the airport. They claimed that they withdrew because they had been instructed to do so from the parliament. This was later confirmed by parliament sources.
Following the retreat of Zintani forces, Islamists engaged in a campaign against Zintanis in Tripoli, many of whom have now disappeared. The LROR and Central Shield also burnt houses of politicians who had won the 2014 elections.
Two days after the battle ended, a small number of Islamist GNC members convened and proclaimed themselves a "reconvened" GNC. They have not been recognized by foreign governments, who still recognize the Council of Deputies as the Libyan parliament.
It is reported that at least 90% of the airport's facilities, and 20 aeroplanes, were destroyed in the fighting. Flights to/from Tripoli now operate from Mitiga International Airport.