Libya’s LNA says six Turkish drones downed in three days

The Libyan National Army (LNA) has said it downed six Turkish drones belonging to Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces in three days, pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Sunday.

The downed drones since February 27 constitute the largest attack against Tripoli’s airspace since LNA forces took over in April 2019.

LNA’s western military operations room commander, Gen. al-Mabrouk al-Ghazwi, confirmed the downing of a Turkish drone south of Tripoli after it took off from a Turkish base in Mitiga, it said.

The LNA said the drone was in violation of the ceasefire declared in the region.

Turkey backs the U.N.-recognised GNA, which since last year is fighting off an offensive by rival faction, the LNA, to seize the Libyan capital.

Turkey has deployed troops in Libya as trainers and advisers in January to support the Tripoli-based GNA.

The LNA says it has killed a total of 16 Turkish soldiers since their deployment in Libya this year and destroyed a Turkish cargo ship carrying arms and ammunition, which Ankara denies.  

“The Turkish drones tried to launch a major air operation against the army forces and aim at more civilian targets,” Ghazwi said in a press statement on Saturday.

The LNA army air defence forces “are still conducting radar reconnaissance operations in order to hunt any enemy drones in the military operations zone in western Libya,” he said.