On May 7th, the spokesperson of the Government of National Accord’s forces Colonel Mohammed Qanoono said that the GNA Air force was missing no aircraft, and that the one downed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) was fake.
Despite the numerous videos and actual photographs of the pilot, who is likely a mercenary, he denied the reports.
He said that the LNA spokesperson had reported of foreign pilots and aircraft earlier too and it was all fake.
A fake account, pretending to be the LNA Spokesperson Major General Ahmed Al-Mismari reported that the downed jet was a European surveillance plane used by the EU’s Operation Sophia in monitoring illegal migrant smuggling routes in the Mediterranean.
The account pictured below is fake pic.twitter.com/ajWpS2DNz6
— LNA Spox. (@LNASpox) May 7, 2019
The LNA issued a statement denying reports that the pilot was working for the EU and that he was being returned to his country.
A video was further published showing the precise moment the Portuguese pilot of the Mirage F-1 was arrested.
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) May 7, 2019
The LNA’s 106th battalion captured a Soviet T54/55 battle tank in Espiaa, south of Tripoli International Airport.
Minor excitement around the spoils of war. Soviet T54/55 tank in #Libya taken for a spin after capture by #LNA 106 Brigade in Espiaa (اسبيعة) south of Tripoli International Airport. Footage geolocated to here: https://t.co/vMxa39vPR4 pic.twitter.com/vMfIa9JPne
— Benjamin Strick (@BenDoBrown) May 7, 2019
LNA airstrikes hit the illegal immigrants center in Tajoura and there were reports of casualties.
عاجل | مصدر عسكري لبانوراما: طيران حفتر يقصف مقر إيواء مهاجرين غير قانونيين في تاجوراء ويسفر عن سقوط عدد من الضحايا. pic.twitter.com/n5zbnTHy7d
— ليبيا بانوراما (@lpc_ly) May 7, 2019
On the GNA side, it was reported that fragments of rockets launched by UAV at South Tripoli were salvaged and they appeared to be “Blue Arrow,” which are used by the UAE.
According to a “secret report” seen by AFP, the UN is investigating involvement of the UAE on the side of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the offensive on Tripoli.
That missile is only in use in three countries – China, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates – and is paired with the Chinese-made Wing Loong drone.
“The panel is now investigating the probable use of Wing Loong UAV variants by the LNA, or by a third party in support of the LNA,” the report allegedly said.
On May 6th, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Haftar to end the offensive on Tripoli.
In a joint press conference with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki, Guterres told reporters that his position is very clear and that is an appeal to a ceasefire.
“What we need is to end foreign interferences to allow Libyans to once again come together to discuss seriously politically a way through. We had common initiatives. A National Conference to take place in Libya”, Guterres said.
This followed the UNSMIL’s call for a week-long humanitarian truce, to which neither side agreed claiming that terrorist groups would take advantage to further their interests in the country.
On May 7th, The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj met with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome.
Conte reiterated Italy’s support for the Presidential Council’s government and rejection for any military solution in Libya, urging for the return to political process under the auspices of the UNSMIL. He also said that war could expand all across Libya and thus cause a greater damage, urging for a halt of military operations.
It is noteworthy that despite the MSM narrative that Haftar wishes to lead the country, this doesn’t appear to correlate with reality.
Regardless, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt gave an interview to the Guardian in which he claimed that Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar could still be a part of a future Libyan government.
“We do not agree with what Haftar is doing. We do not think it is possible for Haftar to achieve a military victory, and as a government he will not be seen as legitimate by whole swathes of the country. So we want a political process.”
Asked if Haftar’s offensive in Tripoli had forfeited him the right to be a major figure in the future of Libya, Hunt said: “We have to be careful about making those kinds of judgments. We have not covered ourselves in glory with our policy on Libya. Let us face it, if we knew in 2011 we would be in the situation we are now we would be asking ourselves some searching questions, so we had better be careful about ruling people out and ruling people in. The right way forward is a a ceasefire, political talks and a political settlement”.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Libyan National Army Shot Down Mirage F.1 Of GNA Air Force, Captured Pilot (Photos)
- Haftar Calls For Harder Fight During Holy Month Of Ramadan