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TonyS, if we are talking France, your my guy in the know. If you see this, please update us on French activity or interests.
From early 2015, during the years prior to the April 2019 attack on Tripoli, Haftar received long-term support from French authorities, including French "advisers, clandestine operatives, and special forces" helping the LNA's military operations in the east and south of Libya. Three of the French special-forces soldiers died in a helicopter accident near Benghazi in July 2016. Bloomberg News stated that the al-Sarraj administration had long-term support from Italian authorities.
The New York Times is outraged, just outraged! — that US anti-tank missiles have been found in "unknown" Libyan rebel hands. Of course, when tons of American military hardware was covertly sent to al-Qaeda linked "rebels" fighting to topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and when those same weapons were later transferred to the anti-Assad insurgency in Syria, many of them no doubt used by ISIS and al-Nusra Front, the mainstream media didn't find much to complain about. But now the "scandal" is being uncovered in 2019?
Currently, it's the UN-backed government in Tripoli which finds itself on the receiving end of deadly accurate high-tech US-made weapons systems, according to the Times:
#Libya #Tripoli - Photo of a Wing Loong UAV taken over the Libyan capital on June 30th confirms the engagement of this Chinese-made drone in support of #LNA troops.
Monday, April 29, 2019
Remains of Chinese made missiles found in Tripoli points to Wing Loongs airstrikes
As part of Operation Taoufane al-Karama, the accuracy of night air strikes has become unusually high for at least a week. The past days, many pictures of remains of missiles were sent to me for identification pointing they could have been launched by foreign air forces during night airstrikes around Tripoli. The photos have been taken in fighting in Wadi Rabe on April 17th and in Aziziya and comparison with Chinese made Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) LJ-7, also known as 'Blue Arrow-7', confirmed that this type of missiles was used in the two air strikes. Some Blue Arrow 7 missiles fragments were found following night air strikes on :
- Wadi Rabe' south of Tripoli on April 17th
- Al-Hira on April 20th
- El-Azizia on April 20th
- Ain Zara on April 21th
The LJ-7 missile is an ATGM derivative of a semi-active laser guided HJ-10 for export market. The missile has been displayed at Eurosatory 2012 as the Blue Arrow 7. It is also used for armor penetration is up to 1400 mm; it is achieved by increasing the warhead and reducing the fuel, resulting in the reduction of the maximum range.
Al-Khadim is a former airport located in al-Marj province in eastern Libya. Since June 2016, Emirates IOMAX AT-802 “Air Tractor” turboprop aircraft and Chinese-made Wing Loong UAV have been deployed on this airbase on which extension works started to increase its capacity. The existing parking area was equipped with a dozen of shelters, half of them used to house aircraft and drones.
Oded Berkowitz @Oded121351
#Libya- photos from wreckage of #GNA MiG-23 that was reportedly shot down by #LNA ground fire over #Tarhunah earlier today
Joseph Dempsey @JosephHDempsey Jul 5 Analysis of claimed wreckage of #Libya #GNA aircraft lost indicates Aero L-39 - not Mig-23 as initially reported.
#Libya- so apparently the FGM-148 Javelins that were found at #Garyan belonged to....#France
Wait, it gets more complicated. The weapons were meant to "protect French troops in Libya", but also "damaged and no longer usable" and "awaiting destruction". Well, which one is it? 2/
If it's non-usable & awaiting destruction, what the hell were the Javelins doing in Garyan, which had little to no significance prior to Tripoli campaign (and therefore had no reason to house French troops)?
If it was in fact meant to protect French troops and never transferred, that would indicate that there were French troops in #Garyan, the #LNA's theater command center for #Tripoli campaign. i.e #France supporting #LNA against #GNA in #Tripoli?
#France had supported the #LNA in #Libya even after the formation of the #GNA (mostly in #Benghazi), and it's no secret that they lean towards Haftar, but a direct support to the LNA in the #Tripoli campaign would be a big deal.... 5/
Also, violating the embargo or not, they clearly ended up in local hands....
Assuming all of this is true and that I'm not missing anything, there really is no good scenario for #France here... Either they supplied the Javelins to the #LNA (less likely), provided the #LNA direct military support against the #GNA in #Tripoli (more likely), or...both? 7/
Well, just to put another twist to it (as if there weren't enough), apparently the French embassy in Libya categorically denied the presence of French troops in Garyan (H/T @ZahiLibi) twitter.com... … 8/
Really important news often goes unnoticed. They occur, no one notices them, but the events mentioned in this news often have consequences that later, having developed to a large scale, make observers gasp - and it’s good, if only out of surprise.
On August 4, 2019, one of these events occurred, mentioned in such news, but not noticed by anyone. For the first time, a combat vehicle armed with a combat laser destroyed another combat vehicle on the battlefield. In a real war, on a real battlefield. And no one noticed.
Turkey, concerned about achieving military superiority in the region, as well as gaining qualitative advantages in military power over Greece and Russia (and, apparently, also over Israel), has long and seriously invested in innovative weapon systems, including weapons on new technical principles. In the early 2010s, the Turkish company Savtag demonstrated experimental samples of plants of different capacities, starting from 1.25 kW, and then up to 50 kW. The systems were created in conjunction with Tubitak, a state research institute. The Turks showed these systems as technology demonstrators and did not particularly hide the fact that they plan to use these developments as weapons.
For operators of the UAE-owned UAV Wing Loong II, a Chinese-made aircraft, this was an ordinary reconnaissance and combat mission. Their drone armed with an anti-tank missile barraged over the Misurata area, conducting reconnaissance in the interests of Haftar’s troops and looking for targets that could be destroyed by a direct attack. The war in Libya has long taken the form of a bizarre mixture of the actions of irregular formations and weapons, created on the basis of the most advanced technologies, and UAVs were one of the symbols of such a mixture. The departure, however, ended with the UAV being shot down. And soon the world flew around the photo.
The details immediately became known. The Turkish installation, which shot down the UAV, is mounted on the chassis of an off-road armored car. Like the earlier Aselsan model, it is equipped with a Turkish-made optoelectronic guidance system. The system allows you to accurately inspect the target for firing, to select a vulnerable point, and then hold the laser marker on this point until the target is completely destroyed. Also, as with the previously demonstrated laser gun, a continuous radiation mode is provided, without long interruptions to the "pumping" of the laser. The power of the gun is 50 kW. This is so far the most powerful combat laser in the Turkish ground combat vehicle.
An important point is not an experimental setup. This is a fully functional combat vehicle armed with a laser gun. And she had just been tested in battle, and not at all against the "commercial" drone with E-bay. Such a gun could well bring down an unarmored helicopter, and easily. And Turkey can build such weapons in large quantities without any problems - now. And this is a tactical weapon, it does not need any special transportation conditions, a laser-armed combat vehicle has the same level of mobility as any other armored car of the same type. Ordinary soldiers, including conscripts, may well use these weapons. And the cost of firing this gun in the literal sense of the word is equal to the price of diesel fuel spent during the shooting. Let's just say, an unarmored helicopter takes about twenty-five rubles, approximately.
Will this episode be the start of a "laser weapon race"? Let's make a prediction: no, it won't. The epoch-making news, as they say, did not thunder. Well, who are the Turks in the world of war industry, right? The Turks will continue to improve their weapons, and no one will pay attention to them. And so it will be until, in some other war, Turkish laser guns on armored personnel carriers and tanks massively burn optoelectronic sights to enemy vehicles, burn engines for unarmored vehicles, shoot down helicopters and UAVs, and disable aircraft on the ground with long-distance, mowing infantry without noise and external unmasking signs. And then it’s all startled ...