On March 20, forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya shot down a Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was supporting them by mistake.
GNA sources released a video showing government fighters showing off the wreckage of the downed UAV. The fighters laugh as they falsely claim that the drone was being operated by the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The UAV was identified as a Bayraktar Mini, manufactured by Turkey’s Baykary. The drone has a range of 10 km with an endurance of up to 60 minutes. This type of Turkish UAVs was not spotted in Libya before.
A day earlier, western Libya witnessed an intense battle, when GNA forces launched a large attack on the al-Watyah Air Base. The attack was quickly repelled by the LNA, which advanced in the base’s outskirt later, capturing several nearby areas. GNA forces suffered from heavy losses.
The GNA’s increasing military activities are likely the result of Turkey’s support. In the last few months, Turkey shipped loads of weapons to Libya. Ankara also deployed more than 4,000 of its Syrian proxies to support government forces there. This support has changed nothing, so far, as the LNA maintains the upper hand in the battlefield.