Turkey confirms Haftar's Libyan Army bombed their air defense system

Tripoli's GNA Vows tough response to the overnight attacks

Turkey on Monday confirmed the reports of a Libyan National Army (LNA) airstrike on the Al-Watiyah Airbase in western Libya last night.

Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord have both condemned the strikes, with the latter accusing a foreign air force of carrying out this attack.
The state-owned Anadolu Agency quoted a “source in the army who preferred not to be named,” saying that base “was bombed by unidentified warplanes yesterday,” after hearing its flight in the mountainous areas surrounding the base.

The Agency source added that there were no casualties due to the bombing, and that the raids targeted “some of the facilities of the base, which were recently brought in to strengthen the base, including an air defense system.” The source pointed out that this was the first time that the base was bombed since the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) forces seized the installation on May 18th.

This comes against the backdrop of media reports that the Libyan National Army bombed the Al-Watiyah Airbase and destroyed air defense systems installed by Turkey there.”

LNA-affiliated media also reported several casualties among the military personnel there, including some Turkish intelligence officers that were allegedly embedded with the GNA forces there.

READ: Alwitya Airbase Under Heavy Bombardment, “Turkish Military VIP” Killed

The airstrike on the Al-Watiyah Airbase came at the same time that the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, made an unannounced visit to Libya.

Libya’s deputy defense minister Sunday said Libya will respond to the overnight airstrikes on strategically important Al-Watiya airbase.

Salah Al-Namroush wrote on his social media, said the airstrikes by foreign fighter jets supporting “war criminal Khalifa Haftar” were a failed attempt to distract from recent victories by the Libyan Army. He added that the response to the attacks would be given at the “right time and the right place.”

An Egyptian channel published a video this week, which showed the moment the Libyan National Army (LNA) targeted the air defense systems installed by Turkey last Thursday at the Al-Watiyah Airbase in Libya.

Khaled Abu Bakr, during his program “Kul Yom” (translation: everyday) showed footage of the strikes, explaining that “nine powerful raids targeted the Turkish air defense systems and destroyed three radars at Al-Watiyah Airbase.”

He indicated in the video presentation that the systems that were destroyed were installed in conjunction with the visit of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar to Tripoli and Misrata.

Libyan military sources said, “The warplanes were able to carry out nine very precise airstrikes on the Turkish air defense system, and that the warplanes succeeded in neutralizing the system, which is a Hawk.”

The Government of National Accord forces captured the Al-Watiyah Airbase on May 18th after launching a big counter-offensive against the Libyan National Army in the western part of the country.

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