One evening last November, while reporting on the front lines outside the Libyan capital of Tripoli, I got caught in an Emirati drone bombardment aimed at Libyan pro-government fighters. Alerted by the whirr of the craft overhead, the fighters whisked me inside a concrete villa, and we watched the streaks of the airstrikes from inside. A few days later, a group of foreign and Libyan workers at a biscuit factory east of Tripoli got no such warning. Around midmorning, an Emirati drone fired the first of five missiles through the roof of a storage hangar, destroying some supplies but sparing lives. The panicked workers fled north to an alfalfa field. The missiles followed them.
I arrived on the scene a few hours later to find the smoldering wreckage and impact craters in the field. The corpses had been removed, but the site was strewn with bits of skull and flesh, tufts of hair, and an orphaned sandal. In total, eight civilians died in the bombing, and more than two dozen were wounded.