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The New Arab Staff

Dubai-based broadcaster uses computer game clip for 'Libya airstrike' footage

Social media users quickly identified 'Arma 3' as the source of the footage [file photo-Getty]

Date of publication: 7 July, 2020

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Activists close to the GNA believe that the strikes were carried out by Emirati Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets taking off from Egypt's Al-Barani airbase.
A Dubai-based Saudi TV broadcaster used a video game clip as "footage" of a recent airstrike on a Libyan government airbase near Tripoli, Arabi21 has reported.

Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) on Sunday condemned overnight air raids on the strategic Al-Watiya airbase, southwest Tripoli, which was recaptured from fighters aligned with militia leader Khalifa Haftar in May.

While pro-Haftar media have claimed the strikes were carried out by "unknown planes", the Turkey-backed GNA have alleged that a "foreign air force" was responsible for the attack.

The strikes targeted Turkish air defences and resulted in casualties among Ankara forces, but no losses.

Activists close to the GNA believe that the strikes were carried out by Emirati Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets, taking off from Egypt's Al-Barani airbase.

Both the UAE and Egypt countries have provided close military and air support to militias in Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army.

Saudi Arabia, an increasingly less influential Haftar ally, appeared to offer an insider perspective on the event.

The official twitter account of Al-Hadath, the sister channel of Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya, posted what it claimed was footage from a jet fighter cockpit, showing missiles raining down on the base.

Social media users quickly identified "Arma 3" as the source of the footage, a tactical military shooter game developed for PC.

"What airstrike is this? This is a clip from a video game. Please delete it," one user wrote.

"Footage ripped off from Arma 3…and you want to compete with Aljazeera?" another wrote.

The Dubai-based broadcaster has since deleted the tweet.

The raid on Al-Watiya has raised tensions between regional powers, coming only a day after Turkey's defence minister visited the Libyan capital for talks with the UN-recognised government.

Read also: Libya's unity government says 'foreign air force' hit key base

Senior Turkish officials have reportedly sent a formal warning to Egypt, according to The New Arab’s Arabic-language edition on Tuesday.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has made a number of threats of direct military intervention in the neighbouring country, calling the GNA's advance on the strategic town of Sirte a "red line" for Egypt.

The new frontlines in the Libyan civil war were drawn after Haftar's forces suffered a string of defeats to the Turkish backed GNA, which forced its militias to withdraw from the southern outskirts of Tripoli and the entire west of the country in June.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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