Fighter Jet of Haftar’s Forces Reportedly Downed Near Tripoli

Fighter Jet of Haftar’s Forces Reportedly Downed Near Tripoli

Haftar met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Sunday over the latest developments in war-torn Libya, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

On April 4, Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced that he was launching a military campaign to take over Tripoli to the surprise of the Tripoli-based and United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

"The president (Sisi) affirmed Egypt's support in efforts to fight terrorism and extremist militias to achieve security and stability for Libyan citizens throughout the country", according to a statement by the Egyptian president's office.

The spike in violence has marked an escalation of the conflict, which has been ongoing since 2011, when protests led to the ouster of then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Haftar backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognise the UN-backed unity government led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

The presidency released photos showing Haftar, dressed in a blue suit, sitting with Sisi and his head of intelligence Abbas Kamel.

Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya, April 13, 2019.

"The forces of the Libyan army shot down an enemy plane that was preparing to conduct air raids in the Wadi al-Rabie area", Government of National Accord spokesman Mohamed Gnounou told AFP.

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As well as thwarting the United Nations plan, the flare-up threatens to disrupt oil supplies, boost migration to Europe, let Islamist militants exploit the chaos, and worsen Libyans' suffering.

The World Health Organization said 121 people have been killed in the fighting and another 561 have been wounded.

The fighting killed and injured hundreds of people, and forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

So far, the LNA and its leadership have ignored global calls to halt their battle against fighters loyal to the Government of National Accord led by Fayez Al Sarraj in Tripoli.

The front lines were mostly calm on Sunday morning but military sources said in the afternoon that an eastern Libyan warplane crashed in southern Tripoli.

No other details about the meeting were immediately available.

His lightning drive appears to have united diverse factions in western Libya in the defense of Tripoli.

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