Libyan government forces shoot down high-ranking Haftar commander's plane
The plane was forced to land in the city of Zawiya near Tripoli and its pilot, Major-General Amer Al-Jagam, was captured. Al-Jagam is the commander of the important Haftar-held Watiya airbase south of Tripoli, according to some reportrs.
General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, who control most of eastern Libya, began an offensive to capture Tripoli from the UN-sponsored Government of National Accord (GNA) in April 2019, killing hundreds of people and displacing over 100,000.
Haftar’s forces recently declared a “no-fly zone” over Tripoli.
Following the capture of Major-General Al-Jaqam, a rival self-proclaimed Libyan “government”, which is allied with Haftar and based in Tobruk in eastern Libya, called on the United Nations to ensure that he is treated as a prisoner of war according to international conventions.
The GNA praised its air defence forces and their ability to shoot down enemy aircraft.
In a statement it said it would “continue to develop the its military capacities” and that its air defence forces had “shot down a plane belonging to the brutal aggression which has continuously bombed residential areas and civilian facilities and airports”.
Haftar’s forces have previously bombed Mitiga Airport, Tripoli’s only functioning civilian airport. In July 2019 more than 40 African migrants were killed when Haftar’s forces bombed a centre they were being held in in Tripoli.