Libyan national forces down Turkish spy plane west of Sirte

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Thu, 23 Jul 2020 - 11:30 GMT

FILE PHOTO: Troops loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Ayman Sahely/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Troops loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government prepare themselves before heading to Sirte, in Tripoli, Libya, Libya July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Ayman Sahely/File Photo

CAIRO - 23 July 2020: The Libyan National Army (LNA) - led by Commander Khalifa Hafter- downed a Turkish reconnaissance plane west of the Libyan city of Sirte, which is currently controlled by LNA forces, according to a statement from the military information division of the Libyan army on Thursday.

 

"Turkey still uses Oqba bin Nafea airbase in Al-Watiyah, western Libya, to bring in military reinforcements less than a month after losing air defense and electronic warfare systems in strikes by 'unknown flights',"  stated Commander of Mobilization at the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khaled al-Mahgoub on Tuesday.

 

This came as the Libyan army warned Turkey on Wednesday against approaching the Libyan coast, threatening to target any hostile naval vessels in the Libyan waters.

 

The Libyan navy said that if a Turkish naval vessel tries to approach the Libyan coasts, it will be subject to destruction, adding that the army has all the needed capabilities to defeat any enemy approaching Libya.

 

On July 20, the Egyptian House of Representatives approved sending troops beyond Egyptian borders to the western strategic direction.

 

On July 16, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with leaders of tribes eastern, central, and western Libya in Cairo, as they demanded Egypt's military support to repel Turkish aggression. "We will enter Libya upon the request of the Libyan people, and will leave it in compliance with the order of the Libyan people," the president stated.

 

On July 13, the Libyan House of Representatives issued a statement allowing the Egyptian Armed Forces to intervene whenever it perceives a threat to the security of Egypt and Libya describing Turkey as "the invading occupier."

 

On June 20, President Sisi declared Sirte and Al-Jufrah in central Libya a red line that if crossed, Egypt's "direct intervention" becomes internationally legitimate.

 

 

Additional reporting by Noha El-Tawil and MENA

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