Russian Mi-17 multi-role helicopter was captured at Sirte by the GNA forces
TRIPOI, (BM) – As reported by local observers via social media, the Mi-17 multi-role helicopter belonging to the rebel air force of the Libyan National Army (LNA) was captured by the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA), learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
The crew of the helicopter of General Hafar’s forces, most likely due to a technical fault, was forced to make an emergency landing west of the city of Sirte near the front line. The area was under the control of government troops and therefore the crew immediately left their machine, abandoning it in the desert.
The rebel Mi-17 was then detected by a Turkish reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle patrolling the area, which transmitted information about the abandoned and most probably undamaged machine to the nearby GNA militias. Loyal to the government in Tripoli, militants were then to intercept the derelict helicopter, which was most likely evacuated by land to the front line.
The origin of the helicopter, however, remains a mystery. Before the outbreak of the civil war in Libya, the country’s air force operated about 7 machines of this type. However, it is not known how many of them have survived to this day in full working order, in the conflict that has been going on for almost a decade.
A possible source of these machines for the forces of General Haftar may be foreign equipment aid, which he receives from several countries. Egypt, supporting the rebels, currently operates about 62 of these machines.
Due to the appearance in Libya of MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 bombers, which were transferred to the LNA aviation by Russia via Syria, there is also a certain probability that it is a Russian machine.
Libyan civil war
In Libya, armed clashes are currently taking place between supporters of different leaders. The country is led by the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Saraj, the “eastern government” led by Abdullah Abdurrahaman at-Thani.
The eastern government is supported by the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.
Recall that January 13 in Moscow, negotiations were held between the heads of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalif Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA) Faiz Sarraj. Also present were members of the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkey.
On the meeting the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has notified Russia about the conditions for continuing negotiations on the signing of a peace agreement in Libya.
According to the requirements of Haftar, the militias operating in Libya are required to surrender weapons in the period from 45 to 90 days. This process should be controlled by a special commission created by the LNA together with the UN.
Haftar also refused to recognize Turkey as an intermediary in resolving the situation in Libya, since the Turkish side is not neutral and supports the Government of National Accord (GNA).
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