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US military ‘loses drone’ over Libyan capital

The US military said on Friday it lost an unmanned drone aircraft over the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where the internationally recognised government of Prime Minister Fayyez Sarraj has been battling the forces of rogue General Khalifa Haftar for months.

The US Africa Command said the drone was lost on Thursday while assessing the security situation and monitoring extremist activity.

AFRICOM did not give a reason for the drone’s loss, but said it was investigating. It said drone operations in Libya were “fully coordinated with appropriate government officials.”

Since 2015, Libya has been divided between two governments, an internationally-recognised one based in Tripoli and another dominated by Haftar in the country’s east. Forces loyal to Haftar have been trying to wrest control of the capital since April.

An Italian drone was shot down on Wednesday southeast of Tripoli by Haftar’s forces

In September, the US military said it carried out several airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Libya, killing more than 40 militants. Those were the first US strikes in the North African country in over a year.

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