Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) announced on Saturday that it had downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
One of Khaftar’s Wing-Loong type UAVs was downed by forces of the Middle Military Zone affiliated with the GNA, said the Facebook page of the GNA-led Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation.
The statement included photos of the downed drone, saying it was sent to strike civilian targets in the northwestern city of Misrata, 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of the capital Tripoli.
It added that in retaliation for downing the UAV, Haftar’s forces fired a Grad missile near a hall at Mitiga International Airport — 8 km (5 mi) from the Tripoli city center — where a group of would-be Muslim pilgrims were gathered.
This April, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, leader of the military forces in eastern Libya, launched an offensive to capture Tripoli, and GNA forces responded with the Burkan Al-Ghadab operation.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising.
Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which military commander Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
Since 2011 ousting of Gaddafi, Libya has 2 rival powers: UN-recognized Government of National Accord and Gen. Khalifa Haftar