The Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed on June 1 that its air defense units had hit a Turkish-made unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) south of the country’s capital, Tripoli.
“The defenses of the Libyan Arab armed forces intercepted and hit a Turkish UCAV, after it indiscriminately bombed neighborhoods and safe residential areas in the town of Gharyan,” the army’s media office said in a short press release.
The LNA didn’t provide any information about the type of the alleged Turkish UCAV, or how it was intercepted. Despite the lack of such details, many local sources have supported the army’s claims.
Turkey produces several types of UCAV, including the Bayrakdar TB2, which was exported to Qatar last Feberuary. Both countries are known for supplying advanced weapons to forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA), that controls Tripoli.
Last month month, a Moldavia-flagged ship named “AMAZON” shipped more than 20 BMC Vuran and BMC Kirpi mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles from the Turkish port of Samsun to GNA forces in Tripoli.
Pro-LNA sources have been claiming for weeks that Turkey and Qatar have deployed UCAVs in the GNA-held airbases. While there is no evidence to support these claims, yet, the two countries may have taken such a step to confront the influence of the UAE, whose UCAVs are allegedly supporting the LNA’s attack on Tripoli.