The picture above shows part of what’s come to be known as the Free Libyan Air Force; basically former government pilots who have defected to the Libyan rebel cause. These Mig-21s (probably three of the four known to have defected in March) are shown flying over the rebel-held city of Benghazi’s Benina Airport late last month despite the NATO-enforced no-fly zone — which ostensibly bans the rebels from flying as well as grounding Gadhafi’s air force. But remember, this is technically a no-fly, no-drive zone and NATO has allowed the rebels to drive a-plenty.
We’ve shown you plenty of pictures of the Libyan rebels makeshift weaponry this shows them operating some legit heavy military equipment. Oh, and don’t forget, we’re recognizing the rebels as the official government of Libya now.
Some speculate the Migs could be acting as an escort for Air Libya’s British Aerospace 146 (shown below) cargo plane that’s being used to link Benghazi with the rebel’s tiny new airstrip at Rhebat, in the Nafusa region; the anti-Gadhafi forces’ remote mountain redoubt south of Tripoli.
As you can see, the strip at Rhebat is pretty narrow and only small planes than can safely taxi on unpaved surfaces can operate from it. Again, these resupply flights must have been approved by NATO.
Via David Cenciotti.