LNA captured Portuguese mercenary pilot turns out to be US citizen – freed to Saudis
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 26 June 2019:
The mercenary fighter pilot captured after being allegedly shot down near Tripoli in early May by the Khalifa Hafter aligned Libyan National Army (LNA) forces, has turned out to be a U.S. citizen.
The captured pilot, photographed bleeding and receiving treatment from LNA forces, had initially claimed his name was Jimmy Rees and that he was Portuguese.
It now transpires, according to the Washington Post who broke the story, that he is a U.S. Air Force veteran named Jamie Sponaugle from Miami.
It reported that he was released yesterday to Saudi Arabia after the Kingdom acted as intermediary for the U.S.
It is still unclear why the American was flying a Mirage F1 fighter jet for the Faiez Serraj internationally recognized Presidency Council and Government of National Accord (PC/GNA).