Libyan Rebels Shoot Down Turkish Plane Moments After Ankara Approves Sending Troops

A mere hours after Turkey's parliament in an emergency session voted to authorize its military to send troops to war-torn Libya in order to stave off advancing pro-Haftar forces on the capital, there are new reports rebel forces have downed a Turkish plane, likely a drone, south of Tripoli

Benghazi-based General Khalifa Haftar had already long ago essentially declared he would enforce a No Fly Zone for all foreign aircraft, especially Turkish aircraft. 

Sky News Arabia was the first to report Thursday: "Based on our sources, the Libyan army shoots down Turkish plane to the south of the capital Tripoli."

File image of recent fighting in Tripoli, via Reuters.

And in a statement immediately after the Turkish aircraft downing of what appears to be a UAV drone, a spokesman for Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), said according to Sky News:

We reject the existence of any foreign power in Libya no matter what.

Though details are as yet unclear, if confirmed it would be the second Turkish military aircraft within three weeks brought down by the LNA, after a drone was shot down on Dec.14

The timing is clearly meant to send a message given earlier in the day Turkish lawmakers approved a controversial motion (325 to 184) at an emergency session to grant a one-year mandate for troop deployment to fight advancing Haftar forces.

Image via Turkey's Ahval News

The LNA has lately been successful in imposing its no-fly zone in Ain Zara axis, south of Tripoli, according to local sources. 

Turkish media reports have lately confirmed rumors that Turkey has already established a drone base in a Tripoli suburb to bolster air support to the GNA government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.