Field Marshal Haftar Comments on the Destruction of the Turkish Military Facility at Misrata Air College by the LNA Air Force – Al Marsad

The Media Bureau of the General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced that the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, personally supervised the successful air strike that targeted a hostile combat facility at the Misrata Air College on Saturday evening.

Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar

[Libya, 19 August 2019] – In a concise post published on Sunday evening, the Media Bureau said that Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar personally supervised the targeting of the Turkish Operations Room at the Misrata Air College, by the Air Force of the Libyan National Army, in reference to the air strike on the Misrata Airbase.

“The Libyan National Army will thwart any project to set up foreign bases on Libyan soil that support and finance terrorism inside Libya,” the General Command Information Office quoted Field Marshal Haftar as saying in his first comment since the air strike on the Misrata Air College.

Al Marsad obtained photos of new installations east of the military section of the Misrata airbase. Construction works on these installations started late July and continued over in August. The Air Force of the Libyan National Army (LNA) targeted these installation last night during the 11 air raids they carried out.

Military sources told Al Marsad that these installations are components of a Turkish integrated military facility consisting of a group of hangars for drones, ammunition depots, other types of aircraft, and a new separate 600 meters runway west of the base for operations, in addition to other logistics supplies.

The new runway at the Misrata Air College. Image shows before (right) and after (left) images of the new runway.

The sources confirm that the installations at the facility were prepared to be a possible permanent base for the Turks inside the airbase, similar to their bases in northern Syria, before they were targeted by a series of airstrikes late Saturday night.

New hangers for the Turkish drones have been built at the Misrata Air College. Images here show before (top) and after (below).

“The aim of targeting these facilities is to completely neutralize them in order to ensure the preservation of the goal for which the Misrata Air College was established, and maintain the civilian nature of the airport located inside it since it is the only airport for the residents of the city,” the sources added.

New hangers at the Misrata Air College. Images show before (top) and after (below).

Al Marsad was unable to obtain any comment from Misrata Air College officials on the nature of the targets that were bombed tonight with 11 air strikes. TV channels and social media accounts affiliated with the Government of National Accord (GNA) claimed that the anti-aircraft defense shot down the attacking plane. Most of the photos posted by pro-GNA and pro-Misratan accounts of a downed drone were however old photos from Yemen and other locations. Yet footage obtained by Al Marsad showed that the air defense failed to achieve anything apart from launching one surface-to-air missile following the eighth raid that did not hit its target, turning the launching pad into a vulnerable target for destruction.

“The aim of targeting these facilities is to completely neutralize them in order to ensure the preservation of the goal for which the Misrata Air College was established, and maintain the civilian nature of the airport located inside it since it is the only airport for the residents of the city.”

The main Operations Room of the General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) issued a communiqué and a circular early on Sunday. The statement announced that LNA Air Force carried out a successful and accurate targeting operation in Misrata. The statement confirmed that this communication circular was intended for the citizens of the city. The leaflet received by Al Marsad from the Operation Room said that the raids targeted warehouses and hangars used for the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 killer drones at the Misrata Air College. The circular confirmed that the installations were targeted because of the  threat and danger they pose to the Libyan National Army forces and the civilian population of the country.

The LNA circular said: “The General Command of the Libyan National Army declares its unwillingness to target the city of Misrata and its facilities, but the city’s contribution to the war effort against the liberation of Tripoli from the control of armed militias makes us obliged to consider it a legitimate target for the Libyan Air Force. Misrata’s continued hosting of Turkish military support makes it a legitimate military target for our armed forces. However, its neutrality, non-interference and support for the GNA militias will change our perception and stop us from attacking and targeting it by the Libyan National Army Air Force, as well as not planning to attack it in the future after the liberation of Tripoli from the terrorist militias.”

© Al Marsad English. 2019.

 

FURTHER RESOURCES

The Cargo Aircraft Destroyed by LNA Air Force in Misrata was Delivering Weapons and Missiles to Turkish Drones

More Turkish-Made Drones Delivered to Misrata for the GNA

Bayraktar Killer Drones Run by Turkish Military Experts in Tripoli – EXCLUSIVE AL MARSAD REPORT