Haftar forces 'shoot down' Libyan government plane, 'killing pilot'

Haftar forces 'shoot down' Libyan government plane, 'killing pilot'
1 min read
05 July, 2019
Haftar's LNA reported shooting down a plane over Tarhuna, 80km from Tripoli, the latest in a series of such incidents as the warlord pursues his campaign to seize the capital.
Pictures of the wreckage surfaced on social media [Twitter]
Troops loyal to Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar have claimed to have shot down a plane belonging to forces aligned with the rival unity government, which acknowledged losing contact with one of its aircraft.

Local media reported that the pilot was killed in the attack with images shared on social media claiming to show parts of the wreckage.

Haftar's spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari said Thursday night an L39 Albatros was shot down near the town of Tarhuna, a rear base of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) located 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Tripoli.

Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, under attack around Tripoli by Haftar's forces since early April, said they had lost contact with an air force L39 that was on a combat mission south of the capital.

The plane had reportedly been carrying out airstrikes in Tarhuna.

The two rival camps, locked in battle on the ground, have both lost several planes in the past three months of fighting.

General Haftar recently announced the LNA will begin targeting planes, ships and other assets belonging to Turkey, who is backing the unity government.