Two Su-24M combat jets of the Air Forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar participated in a live-fire exercise of the LNA’s 106th Armored Brigade.
It is for the first time the images of Russian-made Su-24 in a service with the LNA forces emerged online. The video was published by the Information Office of the General Command of the Libyan Armed Forces.
It shows the pair of Su-24s releasing infrared decoy flares flying low above the Libyan desert.
Sukhoi Su-24 is a supersonic attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. It has a variable-sweep wing and twin-engines. It was the first of the USSR’s aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation and attack system. Su-24M among other upgrades were provided with GLONASS and provision for the latest guided weapons, including R-73 air-to-air missiles
Mi-24 attack helicopters, Mi-8 transport helicopters and T-54 / T-55 battle tanks also participated in the exercise.
The Su-24 combat jets spotted on the video raised a number of suspicions. Some sources supposed that Russian private military contractors were flying these aircraft. However, such claims were not proved somehow.
The two aircraft were wearing the gray and white colors, what is typical for Russian Aerospace Forces. The Russian combat jets that were provided to Libya late in 1989 or to Syria had the camouflage color.
According to US Africa Command, at least 14 combat jets were sent by Russia to support the LNA commanded by Marshal Khalifa Haftar in May 2020. To prove the claims AFRICOM published the satellite imagery allegedly showing the Russian jets in Al Jufrah air base.
The jets had allegedly arrived in Libya when the LNA, supported by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as Russia and France, has seen its latest offensive against the GNA. In its turn, the GNA receives a large support from Turkey.
In October, a new ceasefire was agreed between the LNA and the GNA. In November, it was decided to hold the national presidential election on December 24, 2021.
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