A warplane belonging to General Khalifa Haftars troops has been shot down by forces loyal to the UN-backed government, its military spokesperson has claimed. It comes as Haftar is visiting the Egyptian president in Cairo.
The Libyan National Armys (LNA) fighter jet was on Sunday downed south of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Colonel Mohammed Gnunu, Tripolis military spokesman, confirmed without revealing any further details about the incident. Photos and videos that surfaced on social media appear to show the aftermath.
Photos reportedly taken just now in Qasr bin Ghashir show where a fallen plane has hit very close to the detention centre. #libya#tripoli
"One jet hit by Khalifa (Haftar's) force now in front of our detention centre" – messaged an Eritrean there. pic.twitter.com/MU0VS9hOhi
— Sally Hayden (@sallyhayd) 14 апреля 2019 г.
Some of those who posted the images claimed that jet crashed in Tripolis southeastern suburb of Ain Zara, while others said it fell in the town of Qasr bin Ghashir located south of the capital not far from the disused Tripoli International Airport. None of these reports could be independently verified.
The photos and videos showed plumes of grey and black smoke billowing in the sky in some deserted area. According to media reports, the pilot managed to eject from the jet before the crash. However, it is unclear whether he was captured by the GNA forces, as some reports on social media suggest, or managed to flee the scene.
The incident took place as Haftar, who supports a Tobruk-based rival Libyan government and claims to control some 80 percent of the countrys territory, met with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss the developments in Libya.
This is the second reported military aircraft downing in Libya in less than a week. On April 10, the LNA spokesman told reporters that Haftars forces shot down a military plane belonging to GNA over Tripoli. Conflicting reports have repeatedly emerged about strikes from both sides in the area near the capital.
Haftars forces last week launched an offensive against militias supporting the GNA Read More – Source