By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 18 August 2014:
Air raids carried out last night over Tripoli on the positions of . . .[restrict]Misratan-led forces could not have been made by Libyan warplanes the General Chief of Staff has said.
In a statement made this afternoon the leader of the armed forces, Major General Suleiman Obeidi, said no Libyan-based force had the technology nor the capacity to carry out the attacks.
Obeidi said the missiles, one of which had been identified as a US made Mark 83 general purpose bomb, could only have been dropped using in-flight targeting technology, unavailable to the Libyan Airforce. He added that the weapons had been used with extreme precision and had hit only the Grad missiles and howitzers they were intended to destroy.
Obeidi explained similarly that there was no Libyan airforce based inside the country with the necessary range to carry out the bombings over Tripoli. He said aircraft travelling from the east to Tripoli would have been forced to refuel in mid-air, a feat which was again beyond the capabilities of Libyan airforce either during the time of the former regime or now.
The military has squashed the rumour that the warplanes could have left from Wattayah airbase near the western border. Obeidi said its runaway had been completely demolished and was still under repair. As if this were not enough of a reason, he also explained that the airbase’s refuelling facilities were currently out of action.
Experienced pilots on the ground at the time of this morning’s attack said they believed the two planes, airforce jets, to have been between eight to seven kilometres in the air at the time of the bombing.
No one has, as of yet, claimed responsibility for the attack. An airforce source told the Libya Herald that he suspected Egyptian or Algerian involvement in the air strikes prior to this later announcement.