(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The UAE is allegedly operating a secret military base about 80 kilometres outside of Benghazi. Reports indicate that the UAE is operating, “a pocket air force of heavily armed and armored agricultural planes developed into surveillance and light attack platforms–the AT-802U Border Patrol variant of the Air Tractor and the more capable IOMAX Archangel–in addition to S-70 Blackhawks, and Chinese Wing Loong unmanned aircraft.”
According to an image from Airbus Defense and Space, the UAE was operating its aircrafts in Libya’s Al-Khadim Airport, located in the Al-Marj district in eastern Libya, on July 23.
The UAE is operating its military base in eastern Libya without the approval of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). On the other hand, General Khalifa Haftar has previously given his blessings to the UAE to fly military aircraft in eastern Libya.
Haftar supports the House of Representatives (HoR), Libya’s eastern parliament based in Tobruk, which voted against recognizing the GNA in August.
Haftar on the other hand has disapproved of the presence of US air force planes that have been operating in western Libya, especially in Sirte, in support of the GNA’s fight against ISIS.
The political tension in Libya has further destabilized the country and weakened its security.