Friday, May 27, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 21 - 27 May 2016

On 20th May 2016, in an interview for the French channel I-Tele, general Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, asked the dismantling of the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces as a prerequisite for a possible rapprochement in the fight against the Islamic State group : "An army can not unite to militias. So these militias must be dismantled. It is unthinkable for us to work with these armed factions". He added : "We are not facing Daech for seize the oil. When we fought at Derna, there was no oil. When we fought in Benghazi, there was no oil either. A Adjabiya, it was the same, there was no oil. But actually in Libya, there are huge resources that the Libyan people will benefit after the return to calm."

Officially, Libya Dawn / Fajr Libya does not exist anymore, but most of GNA forces are built on these militias ... For reminder, after the election of 2012, Libya was governed by the General National Congress (GNC) headed by Muslim Brotherhood with Nouri Abusahmain as president elected in June 2013. In December, the GNC refused to hold new elections and decided an extension of its 18-month mandate for a year until the end of 2014. On 14th February, General Khalifa Haftar ordered to dissolve the GNC and called for the formation of a caretaker government committee to oversee new elections with little effect on the GNC. On 16th May, “Operation Dignity” was launched by General Haftar against the GNC and Islamist armed groups in Benghazi. On 25th June, the new House of Representatives elections defeated the Islamists who accused the new Council of Deputies parliament of being dominated by former dictator supporters and continued to support the GNC after August 4th when the Council took office. On July 13th, “Operation Libya Dawn” was launched by Misrata militias and Islamists against Tripoli International Airport captured from Zintan militia on August 23rd. Shortly after, the ex-GNC members voted for the replacement of the Council they rejected by the New GNC with Tripoli for capital and Nouri Abusahmain as president. The new Council of Deputies was then forced to come to Tobruk and supported General Haftar forces ...

GNA operations

On 21st May, the GNA Air Force carried out six offensive sorties targeting ISIS in the vicinity of Sirte : three consecutive air strikes from Misrata airbase targeting ISIS gatherings and ammunition storing facilities (3:30 AM, 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM). On 25th, fighter jets carried out several offensive sorties against gatherings including a number three combat sorties against communities in this area were destroyed armed vehicles and also pedestrian gatherings. These aircrafts also carried out nighttime strikes targeted gatherings of terrorists in the vicinity of Sirte, including gate 30 and the area around Gate 50 west of Sirte. The day after, GNA AF performed six offensive sorties against ISIS. On 27th, ten sorties were carried out in the vicinity of the city of Sirte, one of the strikes hit a convoy of the elements of ISIS during his escape toward the desert.

LNA AF operations

On 24th, LNA AF launched five air strikes in the early morning hours, bombed gatherings and locations used by terrorist groups as stores of ammunition by MiG-21 twice in Alvakat and Alkwarshh. Mi-17 Thunder team also targeted three objectives in Alvakat axis. The same day, colonel Idriss al-Obeidi carried out the first airstrike onboard MiG-23BN serial '8985' targeting terrorist groups sheltered under bridge in the city of Derna Alshwaar Valley area. 

On 25th, Mi-17 Thunder team implemented a series of air raids on several locations of ISIS and its allies : gatherings on the axis of al-Sabri, mechanisms in the axis of whale market in the tourist village and gatherings of terrorists in the trees street in al-Kwarshh axis. The day after, LNA AF helicopters launched evening air raids on several ISIS targets : Mi-35 targeted a depot in the trees street axis at al-Kwarshh; Mi-17 raids targeted a gathering near the island of pipe factory and a warehouse used by terrorists to prepare bombs. Shortly before, helicopters carried out air raids on several locations and concentrations of extremists in the axis of the whale market and al-Sabri. On 28th, LNA AF carried out Friday night air strikes on several ISIS targets in Benghazi : MiG-21 targeted a concrete room inside the pipe factory where was located six members of the terrorist groups and a gathering inside Ganfouda buildings; Mi-35 also performed air raids targeting gathering  and mechanisms behind the pipe factory toward al-Vakat area.

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