Why Did a British Transport Aircraft Land in Libya?

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Itamil Radar has announced that it monitored a British Royal Air Force aircraft, a Boeing C-17A (reg. ZZ174, flight number RRR6372), on a flight from Britain to Libya.

The website added that the British plane landed in the city of Misrata, on Thursday afternoon. It noted that similar flights were tracked in the past, without clarifying the nature of the missions, which remain unknown.

Itamil Radar is specialized in monitoring and following up on regional air traffic. It reveals from time to time its monitoring of planes landing in Libyan territory, without providing further details.

Earlier in April, the global air traffic website, Flightradar24 tracked a Turkish military Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, arriving at the Al-Watiya airbase from Ankara.

Turkey continues to send military aircraft to Libya, with more than ten planes landing at the Uqba bin Nafi Airbase in the Watiya region, western Libya.

The planes are believed to be transporting military supplies, despite the fact that the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement stipulates that all military cooperation with foreign nations must be halted.

In May, Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar stated that the Turkish soldiers and Syrian mercenaries in Libya would remain to preserve Ankara’s interests.

The UN estimates there are over 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, helping both sides of the conflict.

In April 2019, the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on Tripoli. The previous Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) requested help from Turkey in November 2019, to avert an LNA takeover. Ankara soon began to airlift thousands of Syrian mercenaries, and an array of weapons to support the GNA.

The ceasefire agreement also demands the withdrawal of all mercenaries and foreign fighters from the country. A number of Libyan politicians have called for the closure of airspace to Turkish aviation.

Notably, a professor of political science at Omar Al-Mukhtar Al-Libi University, Yusef Al-Farsi said that the Turkish air bridge to western Libya was impeding international efforts to end the Libyan crisis peacefully.