The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – A Portuguese mercenary pilot, who the Libyan National Army (LNA) arrested today, confessed during early interrogation of being hired by a civilian contract.
29-year-old Jimmy Reiss was captured by LNA forces after his Mirage F1 warplane was shot down by LNA at at Al-Hira area, south of Tripoli.
Following the news of his capture, some reports circulating on social media alleged that he works for the European Union’s Operation Sophia, which was established four years ago in response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.
However, during the interrogation, Reiss said that he was “requested to destroy roads and bridges”. When asked who made such request to him, Reiss said he was contracted by a man named “Al-Hadi”, adding that he doesn’t know this man’s last name.
Sources told The Address that Reiss had been working for weeks with militias of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). During the period of his work with GNA militias, Reiss had carried out airstrikes which targeted civilians in Tarhuna, Qasr bin Ghashir and Sog Al-Khmies.
Spokesman of the General Command of the LNA, General Brigadier Ahmed al-Mesmari, had confirmed in mid April the presence of foreign soldiers and mercenaries fighting alongside GNA’s militias.