By Sami Zaptia.
London, 30 April 2020:
Libya’s internationally recognized Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that it was disturbed by and recorded its protest with the France over of the presence of a French Dessault Rafale fighter jet and a refuelling plane in Libyan skies over the city Misrata and the Area of Abu Grain without taking the necessary permissions from the Tripoli government.
The Libyan Foreign Ministry statement reported that the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that it will communicate with the French Ministry of Defence and inform it of the background and consequences of the matter.
It will be kept in mind that it is a well-known fact that a number of other aircraft from various other nations have been tracked on numerous occasions over Libyan seas and territories since the 2011 Libyan revolution that overthrew the Qaddafi regime. It is, therefore, unclear why the Tripoli government has chosen to object on this particular occasion.
Some analysts have speculated that the Tripoli based government may fear that the French, considered allies of Khalifa Hafter, may be supplying intelligence on their forces on the Misrata-Abu Grain front where Hafter has been trying unsuccessfully to make progress towards Misrata. Some have also speculated that Tripoli has become more confident and empowered by its recent military advances against Hafter and by its alliance with Turkey – enabling it to protest to Tripoli.