U.S. military drone lost over Tripoli

Just few hours after an Italian Air Force MQ-9 Predator B drone crashed over Libya, a United States military drone was lost over Tripoli, Libya, on 21 November, 2019.

A U.S AFRICOM press release confirmed it, stating that the UAV was taking part in operations in Libya “to assess the ongoing security situation and monitor violent extremist activity. 

An unarmed U.S. Africa Command remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) was lost over Tripoli, Libya, Nov. 21.

RPA operations are conducted in Libya to assess the ongoing security situation and monitor violent extremist activity.

These operations are critical to counter terror activity in Libya and are fully coordinated with appropriate government officials.

The incident is currently under investigation.

U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyNov 22, 2019

Although, the drone type was not disclosed neither was the cause of the crash, however, a senior Libyan officials revealed that a US drone was shot down by mistake. The LNA’s general command said they mistook the U.S. drone for a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UAV drone used by the Government of National Accord.

The LNA official also went further to apologize for the misunderstanding and has “agreed with the Americans to coordinate their operations over Tripoli and its surrounding areas to avoid similar incidents in the future.”

Fighters from the LNA did not share photographs of the crashed U.S. drone online as they usually do because. they were not authorized to do so, said the official. As a result of the drone shoot-down, General Haftar imposed a “no-fly zone” over Tripoli, saying that all flights over the capital city and nearby towns are “prohibited without prior coordination.”

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.

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