Maaten al-Sarra Air Base
|Owner||Libyan National Army|
|Operator||Libyan Air Force|
|Elevation AMSL||1,722 ft / 525 m|
Maaten al-Sarra Air Force Base
Location in Libya
During the final phase of the Chadian-Libyan conflict, Maaten al-Sarra was the main air base in Southern Libya, being provided with three modern runways and an ample parking space that could support over 100 combat aircraft.
When in 1987 the Chadian army attacked Libyan positions in northern Chad, in the so-called Toyota War, after a string of victories the Chadians were defeated in August in the Battle of Aouzou, mainly due to Libyan airpower. The Chadian command decided that before renewing the offensive against the Aouzou Strip, it was vital to deal with the menace represented by the Libyan Air Force, and thus planned a surprise attack on Maaten al-Sarra, 60 miles north of the Chadian–Libyan border. The attack, which took place on September 5, was one of the most spectacular Chadian victories in the conflict, with 1,700 Libyans killed and 300 taken prisoner. The Chadian victory, because of Libyan demoralization at home and international hostility, brought an agreed ceasefire on September 11 that put an end to the war.