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SEPTEMBER 2020

LGNA Warplanes Strike Haftar Forces South Of Tripoli

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LGNA Warplanes Strike Haftar Forces South Of Tripoli

Mig-23ML of the LGNA air force, source: AFP

On April 6, warplanes of the Western-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (LGNA) air force carried out a series of airstrikes on gatherings of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the towns of Suq al-Khamis, Mizda, Jendouba and Wadi al-Rabi’a south of the Libya’s capital, Tripoli.

Pro-LNA sources confirmed that the LGNA air force conducted a series of airstrikes on several units, which were advancing towards Tripoli. However, they said that the airstrikes were ineffective.

The LGNA air force operates a few squadrons of old warplanes, including nine Aero L-39 Albatros trainers / light attack warplanes, two Mig-23ML fighter bombers and one Mi-24 gunship helicopter. Most of these warplanes are stationed in Misurata air base.

In response to the airstrikes, the LNA announced that it will establish a no-fly zone over the western part of Libya. The army also threatened that the Libyan Air Force (LAF) will attack any airbase that would support LGNA forces.

The LAF controls several airbases in eastern Libya and operates dozens of warplanes, including two Mirage F1 fighter jets, twelve Mig-21 fighter jets, three Mig-23ML fighter bombers and a Su-22 fighter bomber. These warplanes will for sure allow the LAF to gain air superiority over the western part of the country.

The upcoming few hours may witness some aerial engagements over western Libya, if the LGNA air force continues its airstrikes on LNA units.

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