LNA destroys Turkish air defense, electronic warfare systems western Libya

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Sun, 05 Jul 2020 - 12:01 GMT

Hawk air defense system – Wikimedia Commons

Hawk air defense system – Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO – 5 July 2020: The Libyan National Army (LNA) destroyed on Sunday air defense systems installed by Turkey on July 2 in Oqba Bin Nafea Airbase located in Al-Watiyah western Libya, as reported by Russia Today citing Libyan media.

 

A source at the LNA's Air Force operations room told Al-Marsad newspaper that the strikes targeted Hawk air defense systems, and a Koral Warfare Electronic System.

 

The LNA was observing the entry and installment of such systems over the past days, as indicated by another high-profile military source.

 

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On June 4, Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives Aquila Saleا met with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in Moscow where the latter announced the resumption of the work of the Russian Embassy in Libya.

 

The embassy will temporarily operate from Tunisia and the diplomatic mission will be led by a charge d'affaires.

 

In parallel, Turkish Defense Minister HulusiAkarvisited his forces in Tripoli and Misrata. While checking on a warship anchored near the coasts of Tripoli and Mitiga Military Hospital, he asserted that his country's forces "will remain forever in Libya, althoughtheir ancestors left in the past," as reported by Sky News Arabia.

 

Akar referred to the Ottoman colonization of the Arab world saying that Turkey "has had a joint history with the region for 500 years," adding that his country aims atthe protection of the non-recognized state, dubbedthe Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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Libyan tribes declared on June 30 the resumption of the operation of oil fields and ports, and authorized LNA to fend off attempts by militias to steal oil revenues.

In January, the tribes announced the closure of oil facilities in order to cut revenues acquired by the Government of National Accord (GNA) to pay militias and Syrian mercenaries trained and brought in by Turkey.

In the same month, the GNA and Turkey signed two MoUs on defense and gas drilling eastern the Mediterranean. Consequently, Turkey transported 15,000 Syrian mercenaries into the North African states, and sent 1,500 Turkish officers and military experts to co-command militias' operation rooms, and pilot drones from Tripoli's Mitiga Airbase. The LNA says it has downed around 70 drones until present.

The tribes warned that they would shut down oil ports and fields again if their revenues are directed at "killing Libyans."

The statement explained that the shutdown decision was aimed at demanding the international community and the United Nations to set a mechanism to ensure thatmilitias would not put their hand on oil revenues. Nevertheless, the outcome was a rise in food prices and exchange rate, and the state's inability to pay wages.

In a related context, the Syrian Observatory for Human Resources (SOHR) reported that Turkey is still training Syrian militants on its lands and transferring them to Libya, despite the return of 3,200 to Syria.

The observatory revealed that around 300 Syrian mercenaries aged between 14 and 18 in Libya, and around 432 Syrian militants were killed in confrontations with the LNA, including 30 minors and leaders.

SOHR also reported that 400 Syrian mercenaries left Libya, and illegally entered European countries through Italy.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) restored Sirte from militias in January 2020, and entered the outskirts of Tripoli and Misrata before retreating from Al-Watiyah that has an airbase, and Tarhouna town which was its last stronghold western the country.

 

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