The Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, reported that it had downed six Turkish drones belonging to the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in three days. By far, this constituted the largest attack against Tripoli’s airspace since LNA forces took over in April 2019.
The total number of drones downed since February 27 sits at 6.
Commander of LNA’s western military operations room, Maj. Gen. al-Mabrouk al-Ghazwi confirmed the downing of a Turkish drone south of Tripoli after it took off from “Turkish base in Mitiga,” saying it was a violation of the ceasefire declared in the region. Ghazwi then said that the number of downed drones had reached 6.
LNA spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mismari quoted Ghazwi as confirming his units’ readiness to deal with any threat that puts the security and safety of the capital and forces at risk.
“The Turkish drones tried to launch a major air operation against the army forces and aim at more civilian targets,” Ghazwi added in a press statement on Saturday.
He indicated that the army air defense forces “are still conducting radar reconnaissance operations in order to hunt any enemy drones in the military operations zone in western Libya.”
The LNA is carrying out a heavy push on GNA and Turkish forces, especially around Mitiga airport.
More than 60 Grad rockets had landed on the airport.
Meanwhile, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) strongly condemned the continuing violations of the Tripoli truce, which had been declared on 12 January.
UNSMIL was particularly irked by the recent repeated bombings over the last three days of Mitiga airport, the capital’s only functioning airport.
UNSMIL said that Mitiga is a vital and important outlet for thousands of Libyans in the greater Tripoli area. It is also a vital entry and exit point for all international diplomats, NGOs, and UN agencies.
The truce violations are particularly embarrassing for the UNSMIL as they come about as it is amid brokering its beleaguered ‘‘political track’’ Libya talks in Geneva.
In its condemnation statement, UNSMIL said that these truce violations come as Libyans and the UN are working hard across the three tracks to end the fighting, find final solutions to the Libyan crisis, and end the suffering of the Libyan people.