Libya, Tripoli: Grad missiles for LNA – Turkish drones for GNA

Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar has been bombarding Tripoli for months as part of a year-long war to capture the city,said to be Grad missiles, copies, variants, and derivatives of Grads can be found in the inventories of over 50 state armed forces, as well as numerous non-state armed groups.

[ February 29 2020 ]


File photo

The LNA said February 28 2020 that it had shot down at least six Turkish drones, showing images of tangled wreckage whose authenticity Reuters could not immediately verify.

[April 21 2019 Matiga airport closed, reopened ]

[August 25 2014 video] Residents reported an air strike on Tripoli, the airport’s website said on April 21 2019.

“The civilian aviation authority closed the air space of the airport until further notice for the sake of air security,”

but reopened it hours later. In the past the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have supported Haftar with air strikes during campaigns to take eastern Libya. Both countries flew air strikes on Tripoli in 2014 during a different conflict to help a Haftar-allied force, U.S. officials said at the time.

Since 2014 the UAE and Egypt have provided the LNA with military equipment such as aircraft and helicopters, helping Haftar to gain the upper hand in Libya’s eight-year conflict, past U.N. reports have established.

The UAE even built an air base in Al Khadim in eastern Libya, one such report said in 2017.

[March 23 2015 Libyan Benghazi air force hits Matiga airport, Tarhouna ]

air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi [Saqr Geroushi]

Libyan recognized air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi [Saqr Geroushi]

Saqer al-Joroushi, a Libyan air force commander, said on March 21 that the official government hit Tripoli’s Matiga airport and a military camp used by the rival Libya Dawn group. War planes belonging to the country’s internationally-recognized government attacked Tarhouna, a town near Tripoli which is held by a rival armed group, air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi [Saqr Geroushi] said. Eight civilians were killed in this air strike on March 23.

[February 18 Tripoli Libyan Dawn planes hit Zintan airstrip]




A spokesman for the provisional government that Libya Dawn has established in Tripoli said February 17 that its forces had used “two or three” Russian-made MIGs to hit a Zintan airstrip and another location where the city’s fighters had gathered.
One or two Su-22s are supposedly being made operational again, likely by cannibalising the other Su-22s. Mig-23 Four in hangar at Misrata. Leaders of the Libya Dawn coalition had long threatened to repair their own damaged jets and helicopters left over from Colonel Qaddafi’s air force and use them to strike back. It was unclear how they had made the aircraft flight-worthy.

[February 16 Six Egyptian F-16c struck four Isis positions in Derna, Libya: second strike launched]

Airstrike from Egypt on Derna, Libya, February 16

Airstrike from Egypt on Derna, Libya, February 16

GBU-15 dropping from F-16B.

GBU-15 dropping from F-16B.

Six Egyptian F-16s, Egypt’s newest fighter aircraft, struck four Isis positions in the eastern city of Derna, an extremist stronghold that was taken over by an Isis affiliate in 2014. Libya’s air force commander, Saqr al-Joroushi, [or, Brig. Gen. Saqr Jarushi, a dismissed head of the Libyan Air Force who backs Haftar and commands the base at Binina,]said the air strikes were coordinated with the Libyan side and had killed about 50 militants. The operation targeted training locations and weapons stockpiles belonging to Isis in Libya, Egypt’s military said, and were carried out “in response to criminal acts of terrorist elements and organisations inside and outside the country”. All of the warplanes returned safely to base. Egyptian warplanes staged a second wave of airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya on February 17, also targeted Derna.
In recent years, Egypt has contracted for 16 single-seat F-16C and four twin-seat F-16D aircraft. Every Egyptian F-16 (Block 15, 32 or 40) can accommodate the LANTIRN-system (they have been modified with the holographic HUD) giving them full autonomous laser weapon handling (i.e. GBU-15’s, AGM-65D’s). Together with the 6th deal, a batch of AGM-88 missiles was also delivered for usage on the block 40 airframes.
Following mass protests on 18 February 2011, the city came under the control of the National Transitional Council, breaking from the Libyan government. The city was never retaken before Gaddafi’s ouster from Tripoli and the establishment of a new government. In October 2014, when the town was already under the rule of Islamists, the Derna Caliphate was declared, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the “caliph” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) being nominated as its chief.
US Marine Corps First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon led a force of eight U.S. Marines,500 mercenaries—Greeks from Crete, Arabs, and Berbers—on a march across the desert from Alexandria, Egypt (April–May 1805) to assault and to capture the Tripolitan city of Derna. This was the first time in history the United States flag was raised in victory on foreign soil. The action is memorialized in a line of the Marines’ Hymn—”the shores of Tripoli

November 26 2014 Mitaga: al-Thinni says his government’s air force was responsible for strikes at Tripoli Libya airport]

Men stand beside a damaged building near Mitiga airport in Libya's capital Tripoli, November 25, 2014.

Men stand beside a damaged building near Mitiga airport in Libya’s capital Tripoli, November 25, 2014.

Libya’s internationally-recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said on Tuesday his government’s air force was responsible for strikes on the airport of the capital Tripoli, controlled by a rival administration.
[November 26 Second airstrike on Mitiga airport Tripoli Libya]

Airstrike on Tripoli's main airport Tripoli International  this August

Airstrike on Tripoli’s main airport Tripoli International this August

Tuesday 25 November 2014 5:00 GMT An air strike hit the last functioning commercial airport in Libya’s capital Tripoli for a second day running on November 25, residents said
Nov 24, 2014 11:13am EST: (Reuters) – At least one unidentified jet carried out an air strike on November 24 targeting Mitiga airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli, but the extent of damage was not clear.
August 25, 2013: The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have carried out a series of airstrikes in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the departure of UAE jets from their bases would not have attracted notice and suggested that the planes were armed during a stopover in Egypt.

[August 27 Libya – U.S. : “we haven’t decided to take action” deplore U.A. E. air strike]

[State Department press conference]
QUESTION: What’s the difference between the UAE, as has been widely reported, striking targets in Libya, and the United States striking targets in Iraq? Why is it okay for the United States to bomb targets in Iraq, as it did earlier this month, but it’s – well, actually, let me start in a more simple way. What is the U.S. view of the reports that the UAE has carried out airstrikes in Libya?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we understand that there were airstrikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt. As the joint statement I’m sure you saw yesterday with the United States, Germany, Italy, France, and the UK stated, we believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition. Obviously, that’s part of our concern here, given the fact that Libya is in a very fragile place.
QUESTION: So why – how is that different from the United States undertaking airstrikes in Iraq?
MS. PSAKI: Well, again —
QUESTION: Why is it okay for you to do that?
MS. PSAKI: — I think on the specifics beyond what I stated, I’d certainly refer you to the UAE and Egypt, but Iraq has invited the United States in to help address the threat from ISIL. We have undertaken a range of strikes, as you know, and we have a broad, comprehensive strategy. But I would say that is one significant difference.
QUESTION: But at the – I get that. But to go to Brad’s question, if you assert that the United States will act anywhere it deems there to be – or to go to Syria in particular, you said we’re not going to be stopped by the Syrian Government if we think that there is a threat emanating from there against the United States. If the UAE thinks there is a threat emanating against itself from Libya, why can it not, under the same justification, bomb Libya?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, one, we haven’t decided to take action, so I’m not going to entertain a hypothetical on that front. In terms of the justification for the UAE, our concern here is about the fragile state of Libya’s political process. We believe there isn’t a military solution. The political process is what the focus needs to be on, and hence the concern that we have.

August 26 Does Reflex Resources help Khalifa Hifter?]
U.S. Officials with knowledge of the operations say Egypt has been working with Saudi, Emirati and Libyan military officials to support Hifter’s counteroffensive. . In recent months, Islamist fighters have confronted a backlash, losing their power in parliament and facing a counteroffensive by former Gadhafi and rebel Maj.Gen. Khalifa Hifter. Washington doesn’t support the general. But some of Libya’s neighbors, fearful of the growing power of the Islamist extremists, are helping him. One official said Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia for months have been supporting the general’s campaign against Libyan militant groups, but that the Saudis don’t appear to have played a role in recent strikes.
The airstrikes reflect growing international division, with Egypt and the UAE, two of the region’s most powerful, anti-Islamist governments, deciding they needed to act to prevent Libya from becoming a failed state and a breeding ground for jihadist activity throughout the Arab world.

Military contractors of Blackwater run to engage in a firefight with demonstrators loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr in the Iraqi city of Najaf back in 2004.   Erik Prince, Blackwater's flamboyant founder and former chief executive officer, moved to Abu Dhabi, where he has been linked to quixotic efforts to build a mercenary force for the United Arab Emirates.   Reflex Resources, or R2, has a contract with the United Arab Emirates to build a battalion of foreign troops for the country

Military contractors of Blackwater run to engage in a firefight with demonstrators loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr in the Iraqi city of Najaf back in 2004. Erik Prince, Blackwater’s flamboyant founder and former chief executive officer, moved to Abu Dhabi, where he has been linked to quixotic efforts to build a mercenary force for the United Arab Emirates. Reflex Resources, or R2, has a contract with the United Arab Emirates to build a battalion of foreign troops for the country

[August 25]
CAIRO — In recent months, a special forces team operating out of Egypt but possibly composed primarily of Emirates personnel have successfully destroyed an Islamist camp in eastern Libya without detection.Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly teamed up to launch airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya,The first strikes occurred before dawn a August 17, hitting positions in Tripoli controlled by Islamist-friendly militias, blowing up a small weapons depot, and killing six people.
A second set of airstrikes took place south of the city early on August 23, hitting rocket launchers, military vehicles, and a warehouse all controlled by Islamist-allied militia.

Egypt has provided bases for the launch of the strikes. U.A.E. — believed to have one of the most effective air forces in the region, thanks to American aid and training — has provided the pilots, warplanes, and aerial refueling planes necessary for the fighters to bomb Tripoli out of bases in Egypt.
The second set of strikes had provided enough evidence to conclude that the Emirates were responsible, even provided the refueling ships necessary for fighters to reach Tripoli from Egypt.
The success of that earlier raid by special forces team may have emboldened Egypt and the U.A.E. to think they could carry off the airstrikes without detection. Or the brazenness of the attack may reflect the vehemence of their determination to hold back or stamp out political Islam.

Over the weekend [May 17-18], battles claimed 75 dead and 141 wounded in Benghazi, Al-Bayda Al-Marj and Shahat, according to Libyan health authorities. Major General Hafter declared that that “Operation Dignity” would continue until all the terrorists in Benghazi and the rest of eastern Libya were “flushed out”, adding that he refused to speak with terrorists. [August 24] Anti-Islamist forces based in eastern Libya under Khalifa Hifter sought to claim responsibility, but their statements were inconsistent and the strikes were beyond their known capabilities.
On June 1, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb urged Libyans to fight Haftar, labeling him an “enemy of Islam.” “Thanks to the support of the bloodthirsty (Egyptian president-elect Abdel Fattah al-) Sisi, American complicity and funding from Gulf countries, the traitor Haftar has launched a war against Islam on the pretext of fighting terrorism,” it said.

[May 15 2011 U.A.E. Abu Dhabi: Reflex Responses, R2, Blackwater, Executive Outcomes to put down revolts] read more

John Ashcroft, former U.S. attorney general,  of Xe Services/Blackwater

John Ashcroft, former U.S. attorney general, of Xe Services/Blackwater

Lafras Luitingh, officer in South Africa’s Civil Cooperation Bureau

Lafras Luitingh, officer in South Africa’s Civil Cooperation Bureau

A secret American-led mercenary army is being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom of Abu Dhabi . Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E. The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, To bolster the force, R2 recruited a platoon of South African mercenaries, including some veterans of Executive Outcomes, a South African company notorious for staging coup attempts or suppressing rebellions against African strongmen in the 1990s. The contract includes a one-paragraph legal and ethics policy noting that R2 should institute accountability and disciplinary procedures. “The overall goal,” the contract states, “is to ensure that the team members supporting this effort continuously cast the program in a professional and moral light that will hold up to a level of media scrutiny.”
NYT Wired

About huecri

Publishing on the Web is a fairly iterative process. ...NYT The problem is that everyone has a different heroic truth-teller, because we’re all preoccupied by different bullshit. William Davies, Guardian ...Not too long ago, reporters were the guardians of scarce facts delivered at an appointed time to a passive audience. Today we are the managers of an overabundance of information and content, discovered, verified and delivered in partnership with active communities. summer 2012 issue of Nieman Reports from Harvard, --- THE FIX by Chris Cillizza, WAPO blogger, quoting Matt Drudge: “We have entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices,” he said in the speech. “Every citizen can be a reporter.” Later, he added: “The Net gives as much voice to a 13 year old computer geek like me as to a CEO or Speaker of the House. "
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