The UAE has purchased an “advanced” Israeli air-defense system to shoot down Turkish combat drones operating in Libya, the New Arab reported on April 10.
According to the London-based outlet, the system was bought from an Israeli defense company and then shipped directly to Egypt. Officers of the Libyan National Army (LNA) are allegedly training on the system there.
The New Arab said the UAE purchased the unidentified system to “save” the LNA’s attack on the capital, Tripoli. The outlet claimed that the LNA sustained catastrophic losses in recent Turkish drone strikes.
While it remains unclear if the LNA is using Israeli weapons, the use of such weapons by Turkish forces in Libya and their ally, the Government of National Accord (GNA), is well-documented.
Last July, the LNA shot down two Israeli-made Orbiter-3 tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) near the town of al-ʿAziziyah south of the country’s capital, Tripoli. The Jerusalem Post revealed later that the UAVs were part of a three-unit donated by Turkey to pro-GNA forces.
Earlier this month, LNA forces uncovered the wreckage of an IAI Harop loitering munition near the village of Hamada in eastern Libya. The munition was produced by Israel Aerospace Industries in Azerbaijan and exported to Turkey.
As for now, it is impossible to verify the New Arab’s claims. However, it is not a secret that the outlet is critical of the LNA and its backers, UAE and Egypt. Another issue with the report is that the LNA and its allies are already countering the threat of Turkish drones with much success.
A day after the release of the New Arab’s report, a Turkish combat drone was shot down by the LNA, or more likely UAE forces, over northern Libya. In the last six months, at least 24 Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones were downed in the war-torn country.