A coalition of Islamist militants in the city of Derna have reported opening fire on a Libyan warplane that was carrying out strikes in the area, and Libya’s Air Force says that the plane, a MiG-23ML, was shot down in the incident.
The plane was brought down by general anti-aircraft fire, and the pilot is said to have parachuted to safety. This was one of the last handful of MiG-23 based aircraft in the Libyan force, which lost many over the course of the last several years.
Libyan officials said the plane was attacking ISIS targets along with other militants in the area. Though Derna was the original base of Libya’s ISIS affiliate, it’s unclear how much of a presence they still have, as they were largely expelled in fighting with rival Islamist groups.
Four civilians were reported killed in airstrikes in Derna the previous day. Which faction launched those strikes is unclear, though some of the locals were accusing the Egyptian junta of carrying those attacks out.
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