Leaks indicate US support for Libya’s Haftar
Libyan media release recordings of conversations between “US pilots and airbase controlled by renegade general Haftar”.
Libyan media has obtained leaked audio recordings of what appears to be US pilots speaking with the control tower of an airbase controlled by Libyan renegade general Khalifa Haftar.
The conversations, which were published on Tuesday, included communications between Banina airbase in Benghazi and other regional airbases under NATO command.
The pilots’ communications show the participation of different types of aircraft used for military transport, including suspected US Air Force planes such as the CN-35.
The aircraft are thought to have been helping Haftar in his fights against rebels in eastern Libya.
The recordings appear to have been taken between June and August and indicate that at least 14 flights have taken place between Banina airbase and other airbases used by NATO forces.
The NATO bases include air stations on the Italian islands of Sicily and Pantelleria, and an airbase on the Greek island of Crete.
An-Naba, the Libyan TV station that obtained the recordings, said the pilots spoke with “American accents”.
READ MORE: Tripoli condemns French military involvement
The revelations come after Libya’s UN-backed government reacted strongly after France’s confirmation that its special forces had been operating in the country.
The French government announced in July that three of its soldiers had been killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Libya during an intelligence-gathering operation – the first time Paris acknowledged its presence in the oil-rich country.
In a strongly worded statement, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord said that it had asked France to explain the presence of its forces in the country.