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Libyan army downs UAE drone in Sirte

June 7, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Military personnel are seen near a damaged truck mounted howitzer as Libyan Army heads towards Tarhuna, after retaking the country’s main airport from warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militias, announcing the complete liberation of the capital Tripoli, on June 04, 2020 in Tripoli, Libya [Hazem Turkia / Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan army Saturday downed a drone belonging to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which supports Khalifa Haftar’s LNA forces, reported Anadolu Agency.

A CAIG Wing Loong type UAV in the “30th Gate” region of Sirte was dropped, according to the government’s Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation.

The army earlier Saturday launched a military operation, Path of Victory, to capture Sirte, Jufra and towns in Wadi Wishka, Buerat, Jarif and Qasr Abu Haid from Haftar’s forces.

The army also liberated the Wadi Wishka area near the eastern city of Sirte on Saturday.

The move came one day after it liberated the strategic city of Tarhuna – the last stronghold of Haftar in western Libya. During the operation, the Libyan army seized weapons, ammunition, and vehicles purchased by the UAE for Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

Read: Egypt offers new Libya plan as Haftar offensive collapses

Libya’s internationally recognised government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

Libya has had no stable central authority since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by NATO-backed rebels in 2011 and has been split since 2014 between rival administrations in east and west.

The government launched Operation Peace Storm in March to counter attacks on the capital and recently regained strategic locations, including the Al-Watiya airbase and Tarhuna, which is viewed as a significant blow to Haftar’s forces.