Saturday, March 19, 2011

MiG-23 shot down over Benghazi (with photos)

AFP Photo

UPDATE: The rebels in Libya have acknowledged that the MiG-23 shot down over Benghazi belonged to rebel forces, and was downed by pro-Gaddafi forces.

Various news outlets are showing photos and video of a MiG-23 crashing in flames over Benghazi after being shot down. Reuters has reported that the aircraft circled Benghazi for a while before carrying out what appeared to be an attack run when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Photos show the stricken Soviet-era jet on fire in the upper-mid fuselage area, with the pilot seen to eject just before the aircraft impacted the ground, with his current fate unknown. There are conflicting reports as to who owns the aircraft and who shot it down, with both pro- and anti-Gaddafi forces known to have MiG-23s in their respective inventories.

Assuming the jet belongs to the Gaddafi regime, this and other reports of continued fighting around Benghazi flies in the face of claims by the regime that it has declared a unilateral ceasefire after the United Nations Security Council had adopted a resolution yesterday proclaiming a no-fly zone in Libya to protect civilians.

Meanwhile Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornets, with support aircraft, have been seen at Prestwick Airport just outside of Glasgow, Scotland with various supporting aircraft. Canada has pledged Hornets to support the Libyan No-Fly Zone.

More photos of the MiG shootdown over Benghazi:

Source: Unknown

AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

Source: Unknown

Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

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