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Libyan government forces shoot down plane of high-ranking Haftar commander over Tripoli Open in fullscreen

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Libyan government forces shoot down plane of high-ranking Haftar commander over Tripoli

The Libyan government praised its air defence forces following the downing of the commander [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 December, 2019

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Forces loyal to the internationally-recognised Libyan government have shot down a plane over Tripoli, capturing its pilot, Major-General Amer Al-Jagam
Forces loyal to the internationally-recognised Libyan government announced on Saturday evening that they had shot down a MiG-23 fighter plane belonging to rogue General Khalifa Haftar over Tripoli.

The plane was forced to land in the city of Zawiya near Tripoli and its pilot, Major-General Amer Al-Jagam, was captured. Al-Jagam is the commander of the important Haftar-held Watiya airbase south of Tripoli, according to some reportrs.

General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, who control most of eastern Libya, began an offensive to capture Tripoli from the UN-sponsored Government of National Accord (GNA) in April 2019, killing hundreds of people and displacing over 100,000.

His forces have been assisted by Russian mercenaries and he has also received backing from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Haftar’s forces recently declared a “no-fly zone” over Tripoli.

Read also: Israeli military ‘secretly training’ Haftar militias in Libya

Following the capture of Major-General Al-Jaqam, a rival self-proclaimed Libyan “government”, which is allied with Haftar and based in Tobruk in eastern Libya, called on the United Nations to ensure that he is treated as a prisoner of war according to international conventions.

The GNA praised its air defence forces and their ability to shoot down enemy aircraft.

In a statement it said it would “continue to develop the its military capacities” and that its air defence forces had “shot down a plane belonging to the brutal aggression which has continuously bombed residential areas and civilian facilities and airports”.

Haftar’s forces have previously bombed Mitiga Airport, Tripoli’s only functioning civilian airport. In July 2019 more than 40 African migrants were killed when Haftar’s forces bombed a centre they were being held in in Tripoli.




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