Six MiG-29 and a pair of Su-24 fighters from Syria’s Khmeimim Air Base have been redeployed to serve militia led by rebel commander Khalifa Haftar in Libya.
“At least six MiG-29 and Su-24 fighter jets have been deployed from Syria’s Khmeimim air base to Libya. The planes were delivered to the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) which is headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar,” the head of the Interior Ministry of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fathi Bashagha, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
UN experts have reportedly launched a probe into transfer of warplanes, Financial Times reported.
The UAE is said to have flown nearly 10,000 tons of military equipment in 2020.
“UN authorities are also probing the alleged shipment of about 11,000 tons of jet fuel by UAE to support Haftar’s forces,” diplomats were quoted as saying by the report.
Citing Haftar’s air force chief Saqr al-Jaroushi, the news outlet said that Haftar’s forces are set to launch “the largest aerial campaign in Libyan history in the coming hours."
In addition, satellite imagery showing at least one MiG-29 jet at al-Jufrah on May 19 have emerged.
It is still unclear from where these jets came from and who will be operating them. "It wasn’t clear whether those were refurbished jets that had belonged to Haftar’s air force or additions to his fleet," the report said, but Libya has never before received MiG-29s of any kind from any source.