The U.S. military announced that it lost an unarmed drone that was flying over Tripoli. According to AFRICOM, the aircraft was engaging in reconnaissance in order to determine the current situation on the ground, namely security and violent activity by extremists.

Tripoli has been the site of intense fighting in recent months. Libya is currently in its second civil war, which began in 2015. The two primary factions are the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognised by the U.N. and backed by Turkey and Qatar , and the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar, which is supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The conflict has also been of particular interest to southern European countries, particularly Italy that imports a lot of its oil from the region and views it as crucial in tackling migratory flows from sub-Saharan Africa.

The drone was shot down by Haftar’s forces; they claim that it was by mistake. According to a senior official in the LNA, the drone was mistaken for a Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle, which was deployed by the GNA. After apologising, the official “agreed with the Americans to coordinate their operations over Tripoli and its surrounding areas to avoid similar incidents in the future.”

This comes days after an Italian drone crashed inside the country. This suggests that the level of sophistication in the ongoing conflict is of a high-level. According to Haftar’s spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari, the drone was brought down by anti-aircraft weapons stationed southeast of Tripoli.