Libyan rebel army claims it shot down a rival gov’t fighter jet

TRIPOLI, Libya –  The eastern-based army in Libya announced on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, that it shot down a fighter jet belonging to the UN-backed government in the city of Misurata, some 200 km east of the capital Tripoli.

“The air force destroyed an L39 fighter jet on the military runway of Misurata military airport. The jet was bombing civilians around Tripoli,” the army’s information office said in a statement.

“The armed forces stress the ban on using Misurata airport for military purposes,” the statement said.

Since early April this year, the central government has been involved in a deadly armed conflict against the army, which is trying to take over the capital Tripoli and overthrow the government.

The fighting between the central government and the eastern-based army so far has killed thousands of people, injured more than 6,000 plus, and forced more than 120,000 people to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The rebel army is an ally of the eastern-based government, as Libya is politically divided between eastern and western governments.

Since the fall of former President Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos.

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