On Dec. 7, US Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the United States Africa Command, said that an American drone reported lost near Libya’s capital, Tripoli, last month was in fact shot down by Russian air defenses. Townsend said the operators of the air defenses at the time “didn’t know it was a US remotely piloted aircraft when they fired on it.”
“But they certainly know who it belongs to now and they are refusing to return it [the drone’s wreckage]. They say they don’t know where it is but I am not buying it,” the commander was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The story suggests that the people behind the accident may have been Russian private military contractors fighting on the side of Khalifa Hifter, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA).