Haftar’s forces impose No-Fly Zone over Tripoli and its suburbs
Libya’s east-based forces under the command of Khalifa Haftar announced Sunday a no-fly zone over western Libya; all around Tripoli, where fighting has been raging on for almost eight months.
“We declare a no-fly zone (in western Libya) where flying is prohibited without prior coordination with the General Command of the Armed Forces and permission from General Khalifa Haftar,” said Ahmad Al-Mismari, spokesman for HHaftar’ forces at a press conference in the eastern city of Benghazi.
The spokesman said that the reason for the decision is “developments in the military operations, and advancement of the army’s forces into the capital.”
“It is necessary to warn the aviation authority and all airlines companies using this area,” Al-Mismari said.
“Any suspicious target that threatens the safety of the people will be fired upon, whether such a target is on land, in the sea or air,” Al-Mismari indicated.
The announcement came a few days after a drone allegedly belonging to the Italian airforce was shot down by Libya’s east-based army.
On Wednesday, Italian Ministry of Defense confirmed losing contact with a drone in Libya.
“The aircraft, which was carrying out a mission to support the ‘Mare Sicuro’ operation, followed a flight plan previously communicated to the Libyan authorities. The causes of the event are being assessed,” the ministry said in a statement.
Haftar has been leading a military campaign around Tripoli since early April, attempting to take over the city and topple the UN-backed Government of National Accord.