The Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar has confirmed the loss of its warplane, noting that the aircraft could have been downed by the rival Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).
“We have lost one of our MiG-21 fighters [NATO reporting name: Fishbed] after the pilot lost control of the aircraft. Perhaps the plane was hit by a rocket, however there was no direct hit”, LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari said at a press conference late on Sunday.
On Sunday, GNA military spokesman Mohammed Ghnounou told Sputnik that forces loyal to the GNA leadership had downed a warplane belonging to Haftar’s army.
“We confirm that we shot down a military plane that attacked our forces in Wadi Rabie [south of Tripoli]”, Mohammed Ghnounou said.LNA launched a campaign last week to retake the Libyan capital from what it described as terrorists. The UN-backed government in Tripoli vowed to fight back. The United Nations has demanded that both forces refrain from attacking civilian targets. The fighting has already claimed 120 lives, according to the World Health Organization.
For years, Libya has been split between two governments: the eastern part of the country is controlled by the parliament elected in 2014 and backed by the Libyan National Army (LNA) headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, while the UN-backed Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) governs Libya’s western parts.