Mig-23 shot down over Benghazi

A Mig-23 initially thought of  as belonging to the Gaddafi’s Libyan Arab Republic Air Force (LARAF) but later officially confirmed as flown by the Free Libyan Air Force (FLAF) was shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi, eastern Libya, in the morning of Mar. 19, 2011. Explosions shook the Libyan city of Benghazi early on Saturday while what could have been the downed Mig was heard flying overhead, and residents said the eastern rebel stronghold was under attack from Gaddafi’s forces in a clear violation of the ceasefire announced on Mar.18 . A No-Fly Zone will be established in the next few hours over Libya to prevent LARAF from attacking rebels  (Pictures by AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus and AFP)

About David Cenciotti 4450 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.


  1. Was it shot down from the ground or the air? If the ground, how are the shooters going to tell the difference between friend or foe?

    We will need people on the ground with the rebels to communicate between them and the friendly air forces because we cannot reasonably tell them not to shoot at aircraft that may be attacking them on the off chance that its a friendly.

    We are taking a big risk getting involved, is it a risk worth taking?

    • Manonthefence,

      There would correctly be a risk getting involved in any military enforcement action, be it UN authorized or unilateral peace-making type effort.

      But no, that is not a sufficient or valid reason alone to not take enforcement action. Losses will happen and it will cost money to fund such operations, if acted upon, yes.

      But again, while it’s a scary thing when a sense combat is in the air so I don’t blame you for being nervous, that is not a valid reason alone for not taking action and ‘getting involved’.

  2. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of the Libyan Interim Council, tells #AlJazeera that plane shot down belongs to anti-#Gaddafi rebels

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