Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 14 - 20 May 2016

On 16th May 2016, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council expressed their willingness to discontinue the arms embargo in favor of the Government of National Accord (GNA) to fight IS (Isalmic State). The next day, GNA through the Deputy Prime Minister Musa al-Kony has asked for planes and helicopters. This embargo is in effect since the beginning of the Libyan uprising via resolution 1970 adopted by the Security Council on 26th February  2011. It covers the arms and related material of all types - weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, equipment paramilitary and related spare parts (an exclusion applies to non-lethal equipment, technical assistance, training or financial support for the government of Libya through resolution 2009 of 16th September 2011 and the resolution of 2095 of 14th March 2013).

New losses for LNA AF

On 14th May, the air ambulance Mi-8T serial '8216', a former Libyan Air Force 'Hip' helicopter crashed due to bad weather while landing. The crew members were injured and transferred to Tobruk Medical Hospital. This helicopter was transported 'bank funds' of al-Wahat.

On 18th, a MiG-21UM crashed due to technical failure during takeoff near the airstrip of Gamal Abdel Nasser AB killing the pilot, col Mohamed Rabie al-Shawa, and injuring the co-pilot capt. Abdul Qader Mohammed during training mission. Col. Mohamed Rabie al-Shawa was Syrian and joined the Libyan Air Force in 1981 as a pilot instructor on the MiG-21 and trained a large number of pilots of Squadron 1021.

Foreign aircrafts in the sky of Benghazi ?

On 17th May, the Sraya media (RSCB) released picture of a DHC EO-5B 'Special Electronic Mission Aircraft' (operated by the US Army, equipped for COMINT) and a S100 Camcopter over Benghazi. The nationality of this Camcopter is unknown. Many countries have this UAV in service in their Army and Navy. First is Fajr Libya who already used one of them in January 2015 over al-Watiya AB which was shot down. It seems that one other is still in their hands, but Benghazi is not really the place where it would be used, Sirte or Abu Grein would be better. The others countries which could use the Camcopter over Libya would be the UAE and Egypt (who support Tobrouk government since two years), and Italy (no French Camcopter deployed).

Libya Dawn Air Force operations

On 14th May, Libya Dawn social media published the video of airstrikes on Abu Grein taken the last week onboard a J-21 Jastreb.

On 16th, the gate 50, western Sirte, was targeted. The day after, LDAF fighter jets carried out eight sorties launching 16 airstrikes. On 18th, they performed four sorties during which they launched four air raids. The airstrikes targeted fleeing columns and mechanisms of IS. On 19th, an aircraft from Misrata AB have reportedly hit by mistake a civilian car belonging to Mezawghi family near al-Washkah.

Abu Grein area

LNA AF operations

On 15th May, helicopters targeted by night terrorist groups in Ganfouda area. They also executed several sorties south of Derna. On 16th, helicopters targeted by night Shura Council gathered at the western entrance of the city of Derna. On 18th, a Mi-8 helicopter bombed a quarry near Derna. The day after, a Mi-35 succeeded in destroying the workshop of Shura Council office in the western entrance to the city. The same day, MiG-21s and MiG-23 bombarded terrorist groups behind the pipe factory, Benghazi.

Mirage F1AD at al-Watija AB on 15th May 2016 (LNA AF)

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