The United Arab Emiratis (UAE) are planning to deploy fighter jets in Libya to support its ally, the Libyan National Army (LNA), according to a report released by “War is Boring” news blog on December 15.
The report is based on new satellite images by TerraServer that show new constructions in the al-Khadim airbase south of the district of Marj in western Libya. The new construction included five shelters that are big enough to host modern fighter jets. However, its unknown yet if the UAE is planning to deploy its modern F-16E/F or the older Mirage 2000EAD/RAD fighter jets.
A report of IHS Jane’s Information Group revealed in 2016 that the UAE deployed six IOMAX AT-802i BPA light attack and recommission warplanes, two Chinese-made CAIG Wing Loong Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) and two Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in al-Khadim airbase.
The UAE air group in Libya played an important role in supporting several military operations of the LNA, that’s led by Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, against ISIS and other terrorist groups like Shura Council of Mujahedeen in Derna in western and central Libya.
Moreover, experts believe that the UAE is also using its military presence in Libya to counter the influence of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) that’s dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, an old foe of the UAE.