Posted by News Express | 21 April 2019 | 885 times
Explosions shook the Libyan capital Tripoli late Saturday after an airstrike, residents said, in an escalation of a two-week offensive by eastern forces on the city held by the internationally recognized government.
A Reuters reporter and several interviewed residents said they saw an aircraft circling for more than 10 minutes over the capital with a humming sound before opening fire on a southern suburb, scene of the heaviest fighting between the rival forces.
Reuters was unable to confirm whether an aircraft or unmanned drone was behind the strike, which triggered heavy anti-aircraft fire. Residents had reported drone strikes in the past days, but there has been no confirmation and explosions heard in the city center this time were louder than in previous days.
Residents counted several missile strikes, which apparently hit a military camp of forces loyal to Tripoli in the Sabaa district. Authorities closed Tripoli’s only functioning airport.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) force loyal to Commander Khalifa Haftar started an offensive two weeks ago but has been unable to breach the government’s southern defenses.
If a drone strike was confirmed, this would point to more sophisticated warfare. The LNA has so far mainly used aging Soviet-made jets from the air force of Moammar Gadhafi, toppled in 2011, lacking precision firepower and helicopters, according to residents and military sources. (Reuters)
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