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Libya: UN-recognised government downs UAE drone

April 19, 2020 at 11:42 am

Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in Tripoli, Libya on 27 March 2020 [Amru Salahuddien/Anadolu Agency]

Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) announced on Sunday that it had downed a United Arab Emirates unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the north of the country, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Our forces successfully shot down an Emirati drone south of Misrata city,” said Mohammed Kanunu, the spokesman for the GNA-led Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation (Volcano of Rage).

“It was a Chinese-made drone equipped with guided missiles,” Kanunu added.

Abu Dhabi, which is one of the main backers of warlord Khalifa Haftar, has yet to comment on the incident.

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This comes a day after GNA’s forces launched a military operation to re-capture Tarhuna, a town of strategic value for Haftar and his last major stronghold in the area surrounding Tripoli.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Since the ouster of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.