Libyan National Army Downs GNA Fighter Jet in Misrata - The Libyan Report

Libyan National Army Downs GNA Fighter Jet in Misrata

Libyan National Army Downs GNA Fighter Jet in Misrata

LNA forces in Ain Zara, south of Tripoli, on April 11, 2019. (Reuters)

Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

The Libyan National Army announced on Thursday that it downed a fighter jet flown by pro-Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in the western city of Misrata.

The aircraft was flown by militias that are loyal to the GNA, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, and its pilot and crew of mercenaries were killed, said the LNA media office.

The plane carried out strikes against LNA positions, the office revealed, saying that it had failed, however, to achieve its targets after being fired at by anti-aircraft defenses.

LNA jets then pursued the aircraft and shot it down over the al-Dafniya region.

This is the second jet to be shot down by the LNA since it launched its operation to cleanse Tripoli of terrorist and criminal militias on April 4.

Pro-GNA forces did not comment on Thursday’s development.

In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi underlined his country’s support for the LNA in its operation to defeat terrorist organizations.

He made his remarks during a meeting with Aguila Saleh, the speaker of the Libyan parliament.

The will of the Libyan people must be respected and have the final say, added Sisi according to a presidential spokesman.

He stressed that he supports the “actual legitimate forces in Libya, represented by the parliament that has been elected by the people.”

On the ground, the fighting raged on between the LNA and pro-GNA forces on the Tripoli International Airport, Ain Zara and Salaheddine fronts south of Tripoli.

LNA media said that its forces destroyed two GNA tanks and three vehicles, while making advances on the airport and the al-Yarmouk region. The troops also arrested seven pro-GNA fighters.

In Tripoli, Sarraj held talks with Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino, who renewed Rome’s rejection of the LNA offensive. He said there can be no military solution to Libya crisis, revealing that discussions also addressed the possibility of treating people wounded in the fighting in Italy.