Western war on Libya

angelburst29

The Living Force
Europe can do more in Libya by designating Russian military contractor Wagner Group and calling out Moscow and other countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Egypt that are violating a U.N. arms embargo, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.

U.S. senior diplomat complains Europe not doing enough in Libya

July 16, 2020 - Europeans are “proud” about their naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea, carried out to help enforce the U.N. arms embargo on Libya, but their maritime interdictions have been limited to Turkey, David Schenker, assistant secretary for Near East Affairs at the State Department, told a virtual think-tank event.

“The only interdictions that they (EU) are doing is of Turkish military material that they’re sending to Libya. Nobody is interdicting Russian aircraft, nobody is interdicting Emirati aircraft, nobody is interdicting the Egyptians,” Schenker said.

“They could at least, if they were serious, I think, call them out - call out all parties of the conflict when they violate the arms embargo,” he said.


Two Su-24 Combat Jets Seen In Satellite Image Of Libyan Air Base As Air War Intensifies

July 16, 2020 - Recent satellite images of Al Jufrah Air Base in central Libya shows two Su-24 Fencer combat jets parked outside hardened aircraft shelters at the southern end of the base. This indicates these jets are still operating out of the base nearly a month after U.S. Africa Command released imagery showing one of them actually in flight there. This all comes amid an intensifying aerial component of the country's civil war as foreign powers, chiefly Turkey and Russia, become even more directly entangled in the fighting.

The pair of Fencer attack jets appear in imagery dated July 13, 2020, that The War Zone obtained from Planet Labs. U.S. Africa Command's (AFRICOM) image that caught an Su-24 landing at Al Jufrah was taken on June 18. Russia sent at least 14 combat jets, in total, to Libya, including both Su-24s and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets, in May.

You can examine a full high-resolution copy of the entire satellite image of Al Jufrah that The War Zone obtained here. The one below is a reduced resolution version.

The U.S. government has said it believes Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group have been operating these aircraft, as well as a variety of supporting infrastructure at various Libyan bases, in support of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA). Su-24s have been seen in past satellite imagery of Al Khadim Air Base in eastern Libya, as well as at Al Jufrah. Wagner is at least closely tied to Russia's Main Directorate military intelligence agency, also commonly referred to by the Russian acronym GRU.

The LNA, which has its main hub in the eastern city of Tobruk, is locked in a civil conflict with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), which resides in the internationally recognized capital of the country, Tripoli. The LNA also received support from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, among others. At present, the GNA's primary international supporter is Turkey.

In the weeks since the arrival of the Russian jets, Turkey appears to have bolstered air defenses around key GNA sites. The Kremlin's decision to dispatch the Su-24s and MiG-29s was itself a reaction to Ankara's growing involvement in the country, particularly the increased use of armed Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, which were instrumental in the GNA's routing of LNA forces in western Libya earlier this year. These unmanned aircraft proved particularly devastating against UAE-supplied Russian-made Pantsir-S1 air defense systems.

Earlier satellite imagery shows what looks to be at least one U.S.-made MIM-23 HAWK surface-to-air missile battery at Al Watiyah Air Base, which the GNA recaptured from the LNA in May. Unconfirmed video footage has also emerged online of HAWK system elements moving toward Al Watiyah, as well as others in place at Mitiga Airport in Tripoli. Turkey is one of a shrinking number of HAWK operators around the world and has been working to replace this Cold War-era system with more modern, domestically developed alternatives.

Deploying some of its remaining examples to Libya would make good sense given the deterrent capabilities it could still provide against the LNA's combat jet fleets, which are primarily made up of aging and increasingly difficult to maintain Soviet-era types, including MiG-21 and MiG-23s, as well as French-made Mirage F1s. HAWK would still represent a threat to the newly arrived Su-24s and MiG-29s, especially if they are flown by pilots with limited experience.
There were reports of airstrikes on Al Watiyah targeting the HAWK emplacements earlier in July, but details remain murky. Subsequent satellite imagery indicated that, if nothing else, the surface-to-air missile systems were at least subsequently replaced.

Just today, Turkey conducted what appeared to be the first sortie to the base, using a C-130 Hercules airlifter, indicating that the Turkish military believes that it is secure enough for this kind of operation. This could reflect the start of a new airbridge in support of the GNA.

There are also unconfirmed reports that Turkey has sent KORKUT self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to Libya, as well. KORKUT consists of a turret with two 35mm Oerlikon KDC automatic cannons on a modified FNSS ACV-30 armored personnel carrier chassis. The vehicle also features its own radar to direct the guns and can also be equipped with man-portable short-range heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles, such as the U.S.-made Stinger, which Turkey produces under license, or Russia's Igla series.

Satellite imagery shows what may be examples of these vehicles at Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, as well as in the Banana Projects, a stunted housing development just south of the capital. In recent years, GNA-aligned forces have turned parts of the Banana Projects into an artillery firebase and it is also now home to a bizarre airstrip that emerged last year that runs right between some of the apartment blocks.

Turkey has and continues to supply a variety of other heavy and light weaponry to the GNA, which may also include armored 155mm T-155 Firtina self-propelled howitzers, as well as Kirpi mine-resistant armored vehicles. It's unclear the extent to which actual Turkish troops may be operating or otherwise supporting the more advanced systems deployed in Libya. Ankara has acknowledged having troops, as well as intelligence personnel, in the country, but has, so far, said that they are engaged in advisory, special operations type missions, and support activities only.

Those support functions notably include demining and explosive ordnance disposal in areas where GNA forces have recaptured from the LNA. Starting June, reports began to emerge, including from the Turkish government directly, that LNA-aligned groups had laid mines, improvised explosive devices (IED), and booby traps are they retreated from Tripoli and other areas in the country's northwest concern the month before.

On July 15, AFRICOM released a statement, along with photographs, that it said were of these mines, IEDs, and other traps. "These weapons are assessed to have been introduced into Libya by the Wagner Group," the press release noted, based on their Russian markings, which were painted over the conceal them. These munitions had been recovered in various areas between Tripoli and the strategic city of Sirte, which is situated to the east along Libya's central coastline. Sirte is now a major focal point for continued fighting between the GNA and LNA.

"The Russian-state sponsored Wagner Group is demonstrating a total disregard for the safety and security of Libyans," U.S. Marine Corps Major General Bradford Gering, AFRICOM's Director of Operations, said in a statement. "The Wagner Group’s irresponsible tactics are prolonging conflict and are responsible for the needless suffering and the deaths of innocent civilians. Russia has the power to stop them, just not the will."

It's worth noting that Libya is presently under an international arms embargo, which the LNA's benefactors, as well as Turkey, have been openly flouting for some time now. Turkish authorities have notably been defiant even in the face of pressure from their NATO allies in Europe, some of whom are part of a European Union-led maritime effort to try and stem illicit smuggling of oil, as well as human trafficking, in and out of Libya.

French authorities have said that Turkish warships painted a French Navy corvette with their fire control radars when the latter attempted to stop, board, and inspect a cargo ship apparently carrying arms to Libya in June. French President Emmanuel Macron has since decried Turkey's involvement in the North African country's civil war as "criminal."

"NATO allies shouldn’t be turning fire control radars on each other. That’s not good," U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told reporters on July 15 while in Paris on an official visit. "We are very sympathetic to the French concerns... We’re taking it very seriously."

There are no indications that foreign involvement on both sides of Libya's civil war will be declining any time soon and there is now the potential for further escalation, as well. Authorities in Egypt, which has, so far, had more limited direct involvement in the fighting have threatened multiple times in recent weeks to intervene on behalf of the LNA in response to Turkey's deepening support of the GNA.

"Egypt is able to change the military situation quickly and decisively if it wants," Egyptian Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said during a meeting with Libyan tribal leaders aligned with Haftar in Cairo on July 16, 2020. They had told the Egyptian leader that he had their approval to launch an overt military intervention into the eastern portion of the country. It is worth noting that el-Sisi, whose government is now also in the midst of a maritime boundary dispute with Turkey, also called for all sides to stop the fighting.

Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which included discussions about Libya. Despite being firmly on different sides of the conflict, Erdogan and Putin have been trying to get the GNA and the LNA to agree to at least a ceasefire, which, if it were to hold, could lead to a de facto partitioning of the country.

In the meantime, the fighting in the country remains unabated, with increasing airpower, air defenses, and other newly supplied weaponry in the mix on both sides.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
MOSCOW, July 21, 2020 - The Libyan crisis and the situation in the region were in focus of a conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Libyan crisis in focus of Lavrov's conversation with Egyptian top diplomat
The Ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa with a focus on the crisis in Libya," the Ministry said. "Both sides confirmed that the situation in that country can be settled only by means of talks involving all Libyan sides as part of the implementation of the Berlin conference decisions endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2510."

"The two top Diplomats stressed the importance of the Cairo declaration of June 6 to promote the key principles of the Berlin process with an aim of organizing an inclusive intra-Libyan dialogue on ways to build the post-conflict order in Libya on the basis of balance of interests of the country’s three historic regions," the ministry added.

Currently, Libya has two supreme executive authorities, namely the internationally-recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, and the interim government of Abdullah al-Thani, seated in the east of the country, along with the elected parliament, which is supported by the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The conflicting parties have been fighting to control of the capital city for more than a year after Haftar launched an offensive in early April 2019 to liberate the city, as he put it. Following that, the GNA turned to Turkey for support. Backed by Ankara, the Government of National Accord regained control over some regions seized by the LNA.


Turkey says any Libya ceasefire deal requires Haftar withdrawal
ANKARA July 21, 2020 - Turkey and Russia agreed on Wednesday to keep pushing for a ceasefire in Libya, but Ankara said the leader of the eastern forces was not legitimate and his forces must withdraw from key positions for any credible deal to emerge.

The two countries are the main power brokers in Libya’s conflict, where they support opposing sides. Russia backs the eastern-based forces of Khalifa Haftar, while Turkey has helped the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) repel Haftar’s attempt to storm the capital.

“We’ve just reached an agreement with Russia to work on a credible and sustainable ceasefire in Libya,” President Tayyip Erdogan’s top security adviser Ibrahim Kalin told Reuters.

Kalin said any deal must be based on a return to what he said were the Libyan frontlines in 2015, requiring Haftar’s forces to pull back from the Mediterranean city of Sirte, gateway to Libya’s eastern oilfields, and Jufra, an air base near the centre of the country.

“For the ceasefire to be sustainable, Jufra and Sirte should be evacuated by Haftar’s forces,” Kalin told Reuters in an interview at the presidential palace in Ankara.

The United States has said Moscow has sent warplanes to Jufra via Syria to support Russian mercenaries who are fighting alongside Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA). Moscow and the LNA both deny this.

Egypt, which also backs the LNA, has threatened to send troops into neighboring Libya if the GNA and Turkish forces try to seize Sirte. The Egyptian parliament on Sunday gave a green light for possible military intervention.

Kalin said any Egyptian deployment in Libya would hamper efforts to end the fighting and would be risky for Cairo: “I believe it will be a dangerous military adventure for Egypt.”

Wednesday’s joint agreement by Turkey and Russia on their ceasefire efforts included a call for measures to allow humanitarian access to those in need and efforts to promote political dialogue between the rival Libya sides.

But Kalin said Haftar had violated previous ceasefire agreements and was not a reliable partner, suggesting other figures in the east should play a role.

“We don’t take (Haftar) as a legitimate actor anyway,” he said. “But there is another parliament in Tobruk. There are other players in Benghazi. The negotiations will have to take place between them.”

The LNA has itself sent fighters and weapons to bolster its defence of Sirte, already badly battered from earlier phases of warfare and chaos since the 2011 revolution against longtime autocrat Muammar Gaddafi.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says it backs a ceasefire and political talks that would culminate in united governing authorities.
Russia has received senior delegations from both sides of the Libyan conflict in Moscow and tried and failed to get Haftar to sign up to ceasefire agreement.
 

youlik

Jedi Master
Российские МиГ-29 во время масштабной атаки сожгли турецкий комплекс РЭБ "Koral"
2020-07-27

Russian MiG-29s during a large-scale attack burned the Turkish EW complex "Koral"
2020-07-27
The Turkish electronic warfare system could not withstand the powerful directional impact of the MiG-29's on-Board electronic warfare systems.

The transfer of Turkish electronic suppression systems "Koral" to Libya became a cause for ridicule of Turkish weapons. As it turned out, during the next attack on the positions of the Turkish army and the forces of the Government of national accord, when three Turkish "Hawk" SAMS were destroyed, the operation of the "Koral" system was clogged so much that it simply could not withstand the load and turned off.

The information on this subject is quite controversial, as if it was initially reported that the attacks on the air base was applied by the MiG-29, later information was corrected – there is evidence that the strikes were fighter jets Mirage-2000, however, against the background of the information about the blown Turkish electronic warfare system, it is logical to assume that speech can go and about using at least the MiG-29, possibly with the Mirage-2000.

It should be noted that Turkey is really trying to protect its military facilities with electronic warfare, as indicated by satellite images that show the Koral complex.

It is not known whether the MiG-29s used standard electronic warfare systems, or whether the Belarusian – made Talisman systems that have already become popular were used.

Российские МиГ-29 во время масштабной атаки сожгли турецкий комплекс РЭБ "Koral"
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The latest hot mess news in Libya.


Chris Stevens was an ambitious US State Department employee who volunteered to participate in the overthrow of the Libyan government in 2011. He covertly arrived in Libya in early 2011 aboard a Greek cargo ship with CIA personnel and set up operations in Benghazi to coordinate illegal shipments of weaponry into Libya and organized attacks on the Libyan army.

After Africa’s most prosperous nation was in ruins, Stevens became the US Ambassador to Libya in Tripoli and was given a new mission of shipping tons of arms to Syria to destroy that nation. He traveled to Benghazi in September 2012 to check on progress and was attacked. Stevens was captured, beaten, and killed.

The Obama administration hid these facts and proclaimed Chris Stevens an American hero who had traveled to Benghazi to mediate peace among warring factions when he was killed by terrorists


Obama admin used him as a scapegoat
In March 2011, just as the attacks on Libya were intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the US State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to e-mails and other documents he has provided. In May 2011, his application to ship more than $200 million worth of weapons to Qatar was approved.

Roscoe Davis tweeted: "Don't know what ace in the hole Marc Turi that kept him alive, but it must be good, because in Obama's last few days in office, they dropped all charges on Turi and he walked on all the charges."[2]



A showdown looms in the fight for control of the country – with Africa’s largest oilfields as the prize
Bethan McKernan Middle East correspondent
Sun 2 Aug 2020 06.59 BST Last modified on Sun 2 Aug 2020 11.18 BST
Snip:
Libyan National Army
Members of General Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), who are currently controlling Sirte where most of Libya’s oilfields are based. Photograph: Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images

In August 2011, as Libya’s rebels and Nato jets began an assault on Tripoli, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi delivered a speech calling on his supporters to defend the country from foreign invaders.

“There is a conspiracy to control Libyan oil and to control Libyan land, to colonize Libya once again. This is impossible, impossible. We will fight until the last man and last woman to defend Libya from east to west, north to south,” he said in a message broadcast by a pro-regime television station. Two months later, the dictator was dragged bleeding and confused from a storm drain in his hometown of Sirte, before being killed.

Nine years on, after the outbreak of a second civil war, Gaddafi’s proclamation is not far from the truth – but as the US has retreated from the role it played in his downfall, a constellation of emboldened regional powers has descended on Libya instead. As the battle moves to Sirte, gateway to the country’s oil crescent, a potential showdown over control of Libya’s oil wealth is looming

Sirte’s fortunes turned after Gaddafi’s death; once a gleaming showcase for his vision for Africa, the villas on eucalyptus-lined avenues that belonged to regime apparatchiks were flattened in the revolution, and the city was terrorised by Islamic State before the jihadists were driven out in 2016.

In violation of an international arms embargo, the city and surrounding desert have been flooded with weapons and fighters in recent weeks as forces loyal to the government in Tripoli mobilise on one side of the frontline, and those fighting for General Khalifa Haftar, appointed by the rival parliament in Tobruk, line up on the other.

At stake is Libya’s greatest treasure: the largest oil reserves in the entire African continent. The majority of the country’s oilfields are in the Sirte basin, worth billions of dollars a year. Haftar’s forces, who are in control of Sirte, imposed a blockade on oil exports in January, causing revenues to plummet as daily production dropped off from around 1 million barrels to just 100,000 barrels a day.....Continued

01.08.2020 -
Turkey has been deploying Syrian militants and jihadists of different nationalities in Libya to support the Government of National Accord (GNA), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed in a report on August 1.

According to the London-based monitoring group, a new batch of Syrian militants and jihadist arrived in Libya in the last few days.

The SOHR estimates that Turkey has deployed more than 17,000 Syrian militants, including 350 children, in Libya so far. At least 6,000 of them returned to Syria in the recent few months after receiving the full payment.

“Turkey continues to bring more factions’ fighters, mercenaries, to its camps and train them,” the SOHR’s report reads.
Besides deploying its Syrian proxies, Turkey also transported around 10,000 Jihadists of different nationalities to fight for the GNA in Libya. At least 2,500 of them are Tunisian.

Turkey began sending Syrian militants and jihadists to Libya last year. This step boosted the offensive capabilities of the GNA and allowed its forces to repel the Libyan National Army attack on the capital, Tripoli.

These achievements came at a high cost for Syrian militants. According to the SOHR, 481 Syrians were killed in Libya. 34 of them were under the age of 18.

Turkey appears to be determined to increase its military presence in Libya. Recent reports revealed that Ankara is planning to establish permanent bases for its forces in the Arab country.

 

youlik

Jedi Master
Россия перебросила комплексы С-300 в Ливию - появились первые фотографии
2020-08-06

Russia has transferred s-300 systems to Libya - the first photos have appeared
2020-08-06
In the vicinity of the Libyan Sirte, Russian s-300 SAMS were seen.

Russian s-300 Favorit systems were seen in the vicinity of the Libyan city of Sirte, on the territory controlled by the Libyan national army. It is noteworthy that these complexes have never been used in this country before, and this gives the Libyan national army a huge advantage over such opponents as the forces of the Government of national accord and Turkey.

At the moment, there is no complete certainty that we are talking about the s-300 complex, since it was only possible to confirm the ownership of the radar, however, given that Russian military aircraft regularly fly to Libya, landing at air bases controlled by the Libyan national army, and we are talking about Russian military specialists, analysts tend to believe that we are talking about these complexes.

"Among Haftar's friends, there are almost no people who could transfer S-300 complexes to the LNA. It is highly likely that we are talking about Russian air defense systems, most likely transferred from the territory of Syria, which currently does not use these complexes to repel attacks," the analyst notes.

The Libyan national army does not comment on the information that has emerged, however, if Haftar really has Russian s-300 complexes, the Turkish army and the NTC forces have already lost the conflict on the territory of this North African country, since in this case the use of combat aviation is impossible for obvious reasons.




Россия перебросила комплексы С-300 в Ливию - появились первые фотографии
 
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