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Battle for air supremacy heats up in Libya despite COVID-19 outbreak

The warring parties in Libya are locked in a battle to gain the upper hand in the skies, the outcome of which will determine who grabs the strategic advantage in the conflict.

Renewed fighting in Libya, where both sides rely on drone support from foreign backers, has fueled a battle for air supremacy that augurs further escalation despite the coronavirus outbreak in the country. It also raises the prospect of Turkey sending more military aid to its allies.

Despite cease-fire efforts and an arms embargo, fighting in Libya has flared up since the second week of March, when the forces of rebel commander Khalifa Hifter launched a fresh push toward Tripoli, reinforced with fresh arms supplies from their allies — the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In early March, Hifter’s forces had already tightened their siege of the capital from the south and their siege of Misrata from the southeast.

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