On January 14, four Mig-29 fighter jets were spotted while conducting an armed patrol over al-Jufra Air Base in central Libya.
A video shared by Libyan activists shows the jets flying over the air base, which is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA). One of the jets was armed with two B-8 rocket pods, each can be loaded with up to 20 S-8 unguided air-to-ground rockets.
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) January 14, 2021
Several Mig-29 fighter jets were spotted in al-Jufra Air Base in May of 2020. Back then, the U.S. Africa Command claimed that the jets were deployed by Russia to provide a close air support for private military contractors fighting for the LNA.
According to unverified reports, Russian PMC pilots fly the Mig-29s as well as several Su-24 warplanes, which were spotted in different LNA air bases.
Last year, the Turkish-allied Government of National Accord (GNA) vowed that its forces will capture al-Jufra Air Base and the coastal city of Sirte. However, deployment of Mig-29 fighter jets and a threat from the LNA’s main backer, Egypt, hindered the GNA’s plan.
GNA forces, which are backed by Turkey, may be preparing to resume military operations. A day earlier, the LNA’s spokesman warned that Turkish forces will not leave Libya via peaceful means.
- Ankara Won’t Leave Libya’: LNA Warns Following Turkish Frigate Visit To GNA Port
- Remains Of US-Made Rockets Found In Libya’s Tripoli (Photos)