New satellite images have revealed some of the damaged caused by the July 5 airstrikes on al-Watiya Air Base in western Libya.
The images, which were shared by Twitter user Gerjon on April 12, confirm that the southwestern section of the air base were hit by multiple strikes. A Turkish MIM-23 Hawk medium-range air-defense system was deployed in this section as well as in the southeastern section. The images didn’t cover that part of the base, however.
As a GIF: West side of (🇹🇷?)/🇱🇾 Al-Wattiyah Air Base on 01 Jul (pre-strike), 06 Jul (post-strike) and 11 Jul 2020 (today). pic.twitter.com/7X4OawRIcA
— Gerjon | חריון (@Gerjon_) July 11, 2020
The Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed responsibility for the airstrikes, which destroyed the Hawk system as well as a KORAL electronic warfare system.
Activists supporting the Government of National Accord (GNA) denied that the LNA was behind the pinpoint airstrikes. They claimed that the airstrikes were carried out by Mirage 2000-9 warplanes of the UAE Air Force. According to the activists’ claims, the warplanes took off from Egypt’s Sidi Barrani Air Base.
Recent reports revealed that Turkey is now once again deployeding military equipment, likely a new air-defense system, in al-Watiya.
Turkey is reportedly planning to turn al-Watiya Air Base, which was captured by GNA forces in May, into a permanent base for its troops in Libya. The airstrikes delayed Ankara’s plans, but didn’t end them.