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3 Jan, 2020 23:06

Libyan forces claim to have shot down Turkish aircraft after Haftar declares 'jihad' on Ankara

Libyan forces claim to have shot down Turkish aircraft after Haftar declares 'jihad' on Ankara

The Libyan National Army (LNA) said it shot down a Turkish drone over Tripoli, shortly after its leader General Khalifa Haftar called for a holy war against Turkey for supporting a rival government.

On Friday, the LNA said it had shot down a Turkish drone south of Tripoli, the seat of the Government of National Accord (GNA). One report identified it as a Bayraktar TB2 armed drone, downed after targeting a column of LNA vehicles.

On Thursday, theTurkish parliament approved the deployment of troops, advisers and equipment to Libya to prop up the GNA, the internationally recognized authority which controls only a small portion of the country. The exact scope of the deployment was not made public.

General Haftar, who runs the LNA on behalf of a rival legislature based in Tobruk, vowed on Friday to “confront and expel” foreign forces.

Also on rt.com Libyan National Army head Haftar declares JIHAD to ‘confront & expel’ Turkish troops

“We declare jihad and general mobilization to counter the Turkish invasion,” Haftar said. “The Turkish friendly people must rise up against the adventurers who force their army to be wiped out in Libya.”

Haftar’s LNA has been advancing on Tripoli in fits and starts since April 2019, having secured control over most of Libya, except for the deep desert in the south.

Libya collapsed into chaos and civil war after the NATO-backed regime change operation in 2011 overthrew the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi that had run the country since 1969.

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