Showing posts with label Libya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Libya. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN
 
Bin atlı o gün dev gibi bir orduyu yendik! - A thousand cavaliers, we beat a giant army that day! (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

The Bayraktar TB2 has changed the notion of how modern-day conflicts are being fought that, now that it has been tried and tested in at least three separate conflicts, cannot be reverted. The fact that a relatively light and inexpensive drone could not only evade but actively search out and destroy modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems while suffering little losses in return has rightfully garnered worldwide attention. The result of the TB2's entry into combat was a stunning upset of the status quo, forcing many countries to rethink their approach to defence.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Turkey has made a shift from being partially dependant on donations of military equipment in the 1970s and 1980s to being the party that donates in the 2010s and 2020s, gifting military equipment to allied countries around the globe. Although Turkey began donating military equipment to neighbouring countries as early as the late 1990s, this policy truly set off in the 2010s as Turkey began to increase its worldwide influence. This has not only included the donation of military equipment, with ambulances, buses and other items finding their way to nations across the world as well.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
In early June 2020, forces loyal to Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) captured the strategically important city of Tarhuna, marking the official end of the Libyan National Army's (LNA) 14-month long offensive that aimed to capture Tripoli. [1] In the process of sifting through the spoils of war littered about the city, the GNA encountered a number of MRLs that were at the time completely unknown. Tarhuna had acted as a giant supply depot for LNA forces in Western Libya, and since the LNA received significant military support from the UAE, a link was easily established. [2]

Monday, 22 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Bayraktar TB2 is well known for its pivotal role in securing Azerbaijan's victory over Armenia during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. While no war in history was ever won by one weapon system alone, there can be no doubt that Azerbaijan's striking victory couldn't have been achieved without it. Less well known is the TB2's role in saving the internationally-recognised government in Libya (GNA) throughout 2019 and 2020, preventing a hostile takeover of the country by warlord Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) received significant backing from the UAE, Egypt and Russia. [1]

Friday, 19 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Much has been written and discussed about the quality of Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). While some argue that Chinese drones have proven cost-effective alternatives to American UAVs, others have pointed out the drones' high crash rates and reliability issues when compared to their Israeli, U.S. and Turkish counterparts. Despite these issues, Chinese UAVs remain highly popular on the market today. This is likely not the least due to the fact that there are few strings attached to Chinese arms sales, enabling countries like the United Arab Emirates to deploy its Chinese-made UCAVs over areas where it wouldn't be allowed to operate its U.S.-produced drones.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

A comprehensive catalogue of weaponry and equipment supplied to the LNA can be found further down in this article.
 
Since the renewal of a civil war in Libya in 2014 a slow-burning yet at times surprisingly intense conflict has left its future in doubt, with multiple parties vying for control and their international backers not shying away from investing large sums of money to see a favourable result come about. Although a UN-imposed arms embargo (in place since February 2011) is meant to stop both sides from obtaining weapons and equipment, it has since been blatantly and consistently ignored by their foreign backers. A recently released UN panel of experts report aimed to document transgressions of this embargo since its instatement, primarily focusing on analysis of international shipments of arms and equipment by means of air transport. [1] The resulting body of work although painstakingly detailed in some aspects is a testament to shortcomings of this method, and is wholely lacking in competent imagery analysis, failing to note the delivery of a myriad of weapons systems and munitions, while misidentifying others. Its conclusions therefore are far off the mark essentially throwing Turkey as a foreign power in the region under the bus, while categorically ignoring serial offenders such as the UAE, Russia, Jordan and Egypt. This article aims to function as a counterpoint to UNSC's report not by refuting its contents (though a concise rebuffal can be found here), but by providing an actually comprehensive overview of arms transfers by the aforementioned parties to Libya's LNA since 2014.

Monday, 15 March 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict and COIN_TR

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally-recognised government (GNA) captured the city of Tarhuna on the 5th of June 2020, marking the official end of the Libyan National Army's (LNA) 14-month long offensive that aimed to capture the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Tarhuna, located some sixty kilometers south-west from Tripoli's city centre, was the last stronghold of Haftar in northwestern Libya, and by the virtue of its role as a giant supply depot for the LNA also the most important one. 
 
Already shortly after Tarhuna's capture by the GNA it became evident what years of occupation had meant for the city's residents. Under the control of the Kaniyat militia since April 2015, which pledged allegiance to Khalifa Haftar's LNA in April 2019, its men imposed a regime of terror on the local population. Since the Kaniyat militia first took over the city in 2015, local residents reported a total of 338 missing persons cases, the vast majority of which in the period between April 2019 to June 2020. [1] [2] The fate of many of these persons was elucidated after the discovery of some 30 mass graves in and around Tarhuna, including several with the remains of women and children in them. [1] Tragically, new mass graves continue to be found to this day. [3]

Friday, 12 February 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Al-Watiya. An airbase few had ever heard of until it became a symbol in the fight of the internationally-recognised government of Libya (GNA) against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) that seeks to overthrow it. While its capture on the 18th of May 2020 temporarily managed to put the spotlight on the severely underreported Libyan conflict, not the least because of the destruction and capture of two Russian Pantsir-S1 missile systems supplied by the UAE, the full implications of the capture of al-Watiya have gone mostly unnoticed.

More than just a local success story for the Government of National Accord, al-Watiya was a major stronghold in the LNA's offensive line around Tripoli. Tasked with protecting and supporting the Western flank of the LNA's military thrust into Tripoli, what was left of Haftar's prospects of capturing Libya's capital crumbled with the loss of this key airbase. The freeing up of GNA forces as a result of the capture and the subsequent increase in pressure on other fronts around Tripoli made the LNA's and Wagner PMC's position in this part of the country untenable, leading to a chaotic retreat from Western Libya and ending Haftar's long-held dream of capturing Tripoli and installing himself as self-proclaimed president of Libya.

Monday, 1 February 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
An article covering trains on Danimist Blog? Yes, you're not mistaken. We know what you are thinking: Where are the tanks, aircraft or ships? But actually, trains are kind of interesting or some of them at least. Take Japan's Chūō Shinkansen for example, which holds the train world speed record of 603 km/h. Or the Krajina Express, an improvised armoured train used by the Krajina Serb army during the 1990s that looked like a veritable battle fortress. Still not convinced? Then how about Gaddafi's personal Italian high-speed train that's technically still owned by Denmark?

Thursday, 21 January 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Libyan Civil War has had a devastating impact on the country's civilian aviation sector, and its two giant An-124 cargo aircraft have not eluded their fair share of suffering. Libya's aviation industry came to a near standstill during the 2011 revolution, and even after the cessation of hostilities it took Libyan airline companies anywhere from months up to a year to restart their operations, while some never flew again. Those that did in doing so expressed their renewed confidence for the future, but insecurity and political turmoil in the wake of the civil war ultimately brought an end to any optimism, and soon the Libyan aviation industry was fighting for its very survival.
 
As the civil war ravaging Libya continued with no prospect of relative stability in sight, the threat of extinction loomed large over the An-124s. At a time when the single aircraft that was still present in Libya was dodging artillery fire left and right, the other An-124 was facing the possibility of being auctioned off by Ukraine in 2017 if the Libyan government failed to pay the $1.2 million it owed to Antonov for storage and routine maintenance of the aircraft since 2009 at the Antonov facility in Kiev.

Monday, 2 November 2020

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
Over time, stories detailing North Korea's arms exports to countries in the Middle East have become more and more common. Though any military link to the DPRK is hardly something nations have been likely to boast about, the actors in these stories are familiar and, in a certain sense, unsurprising. Egypt and Yemen were willing customers in the past, but Iran and Syria (and the non-state actors they support) maintain quite well documented links to the present day. Exposing the extent of these links is by no means trivial and definitely an interesting subject of its own; today however we shed light on a subject that is much less familiar.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Libya's aerial refuelling programme has only been rarely reported on since its inception in the late eighties, and suffered from a series of setbacks that ultimately led to the abandonment of the programme. Nonetheless, this ambitious project has definitely left its traces within the Libyan Air Force, and aircraft once playing a key role in the in-flight refuelling programme are still flying amidst the increasingly deteriorating security situation inside the country today.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Islamic State's rise to the status of one of the most sophisticated designated terrorist groups ever to exist has led to a myriad of DIY projects as the group attemped to equip its fighters with a semblance of armour and heavy firepower. While most of these projects were destined to remain confined to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State forces in Libya managed to assemble an one-off homebred gem that could have come straight out of a Mad Max movie.

Monday, 18 August 2014

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
In a series of photos coming out of Tripoli, Libya, it appears that forces belonging to Libya's National Salvation Government (more commonly known as Libya Dawn) are now using highly sophisticated guided missile weaponry in the ground-to-ground role. The missile used was taken from a weapon depot near Ghardabiya airbase, near Sirte. The missile, a Kh-29T, normally uses TV-guidance to reach its intended target. In Libyan service, the Kh-29T was solely used on the Su-24 delivered from the Soviet Union in the late 80s.