Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Emirati/Egyptian air power turned Haftar's Libyan oil ports disaster to victory


On 14 March, General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army launched a counterattack against the fighters of the Saraya Defend Benghazi and the Petroleum Facilities Guard coalition, which had managed to take most of the coastal cities near the oil terminals 10 days earlier.

This lightning counter-offensive has left observers skeptical. How could an army have lost an entire region in a few days - and then recovered it so quickly?



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Balloon busting

by Krzysztof Dabrowski


With various events commemorating the centennial of the First World War or the Great War as the global conflict is also known the attention of aviation enthusiasts is among other things drawn to the so call balloon busting – that is to the shooting down of enemy aerostats which was an important part of World War One aerial warfare. This was so despite the fact that powered flight was by that time already well established. However aerostats still played an important role, especially observation blimps were of great use allowing to watch enemy positions and look behind his lines. For obvious reason neither of the warring side could tolerate this and hence the aforementioned balloon busting. It is less known however, that many balloons and other aerostats were also shot down in times chronologically much closer.  In particular the Cold War saw many such incidents occurring but they also took place even more recently – leaving the former for another time it seems fitting to bring to attention the latter.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A new offensive in the Oil Crescent could reshuffle the cards in Libya


On March 3, 2017, fighters from Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade, an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose the dominant Libyan National Army and its popular leader Gen. Khalifa Hafter — together with members of Ibrahim Jadhran’s Petroleum Facilities Guard and Misrata’s Al Marsa Brigade, attacked An Nawfaliya, Bin Jawad, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in Libya’s Oil Crescent.

Their goal was to seize the oil terminals in those towns. And thus control Libya’s wealth. The attack has upended the Libyan civil war.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Russia has provided at least one fighter jet to Libya National Army

By Arnaud Delalande and Wolfgang Pusztai

On Feb. 24, 2017, photographs taken by Libyan National Army Air Force technicians — and which appeared on social media — revealed that Russia appears to have supplied at least one warplane to forces under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar.


Haftar’s army, concentrated in eastern Libya and based in Tobruk, is the chief rival of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord based in the western capital of Tripoli. The 73-year-old marshal, who once lived in exile near the CIA headquarters in Virginia, has received military support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries.

And, as the evidence strongly suggests, Russia as well.