New Footage Shows Turkish Drone Landing at Mitiga International Airport – Al Marsad

New video footage released shows the Turkish drone above Mitiga International Airport two days before it was destroyed by the Air Force of the Libyan National Army.

[Libya, 9 June 2019] – Al Marsad received footage of a Turkish drone landing at Mitiga International Airport at 7am on 4 June 2019, coinciding with the first day of Eid al-Fitr. The video shows a drone landing on a runway in the military section of the airport. Sounds of the Eid al-Fitr prayers could be heard in the background coming from nearby mosques. The Turkish drone, Anka-2, landed in the eastern part of the Mitiga International Airport, an area reserved for warplanes and military logistics and serves as a military base. The structure, wingspan, and square pusher propellers of the rear spars and ribs indicate that the drone is the Anka-2.

On Thursday night two airstrikes targeted the eastern part of the Mitiga Military Base at Mitiga International Airport. Major-General Mohamed Al-Manfur, Commander of the LNA Air Force’s Operation Room, announced that army warplanes targeted a Turkish drone that same night and hit another one in the evening of the following day. Al-Manfur revealed that there were three planes of the same type in the eastern section of the airbase.

Anka-2 Turkish drone structure matches the plane in the video footage.

The Tripoli-based Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA), the High State Council, and the Ministry of Interior issued statements of condemnation against the air strikes, denouncing silence on the raid by the international community. They accused the LNA raids of endangering civil aviation movement which they argued amounted to a war crime.

Airport authorities, however, confirmed that civil aviation movement was not affected by the bombing of the drones.

It is noteworthy that the security authorities at Mitiga did not allow the press to photograph the location of the drones or the wreckage. This newly released video therefore negates the Tripoli-based government’s version of the story, and proves the existence of military assets that required bombing, according to the LNA General Command.

On Saturday, the Tripoli authorities allowed some footage to be streamed over media platforms during a visit by a delegation from the GNA’s Ministry of Transportation to the Mitiga International Airport. The Anka-2 engine is fitted with a tricycle-type retractable units.

Al-Manfur pledged in a recent interview with Al Marsad to prevent the GNA from utilizing Mitiga International Airport for military purposes. He said it was critical for the well being of the population to keep and sustain the continuity and regularity of air travel flow to and from the capital, since the main airport in the city was burnt to the ground by Operation Dawn (Fajr Libya) in 2014. The UN-sanctioned Salah Badi, who led Operation Dawn in 2014, is currently fighting under the GNA militia forces.

© Al Marsad English. 2019.