Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Libyan National Army Air Force has deployed MiG-21s to Ra's Lanuf Airport to carry out airstrikes last year

In January 2015, the battle for Libya’s two largest oil ports at the towns of al-Sidr and Ras Lanuf was going on between Libya Dawn militia and Libyan National Army. On December 13th, 2014, Libya Dawn forces, drawn mostly from Misratan militias, launched “Operation Sunrise” to wrest the terminals from Jathran and his Dignity backers. The fighting shut down the terminals’ operations. On December 25th, a rocket struck a storage tank, igniting an inferno that blotted the sky with thick black smoke. The blaze was subdued only after nine days. On 28th, LNA AF staged airstrikes on Misrata, targeting the port, an air force academy near the airport and Libya's biggest steel plant located in western city. On 30th, LNA Forces down a helicopter from Libya Dawn as it prepared to land at a military base near Sirte Airport, after it had taken part with other aircrafts in air raids on al-Sidr oil terminal (1) (2) The day after, another aircraft belonged to Fajir Libya militia was forced down after a similar attack on the oil terminal (3). On January 5th, 2015, LNA AF hit a Greek-owned tanker chartered by Libya's National Oil Corporation off the coast of Darna. To perform all of these airstrikes, the LNA AF has deployed MiG-21s and MiG-23s close to the battle at Benina AB. According to the video below, it seems that some "Fishbed" were also deployed to Ra's Lanuf Airport very close to the oil ports. As already written on this blog, LNA forces are assisted by Agusta A109 helicopters since a long time for coastal monitoring and assisting bombing missions. The A109 serial number "5A-DTJ" can be seen as it overflew the runway, together with MiG-21bis serial number "800" and MiG-21MF serial number "22" or "27".

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