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Turkey looking at going into Libya against Russian mercenaries

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Turkey looking at going into Libya against Russian mercenaries

Old 26th May 2020, 14:15
  #41 (permalink)  
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It would appear Russia has now sent fighter jets to Libya to support their mercs.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world...es/ar-BB14CcyO
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Old 27th May 2020, 01:18
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
It would appear Russia has now sent fighter jets to Libya to support their mercs.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world...es/ar-BB14CcyO

wagner group has reportedly withdrawn from libya, there are various reports some saying they have withdrawn completely after an agreement with turkey that they would not attack the transports to they are withdrawing to another location.

Sounds like they really need the airpower as the turkish drones were making mincemeat of them

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/mili...-libya/1853423

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...200905871.html
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Old 27th May 2020, 02:50
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Anti Drone warfare: the next growth industry. And a place to invest some money; people/governments/armies will want it as badly as they wanted anti air warfare and anti missile warfare
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Old 27th May 2020, 06:53
  #44 (permalink)  
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All 20 are individually identified by name in the linked article. About 50/50 British and South African.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/n...r_gunship_plan


Investigators uncover roles of mercenaries in UAE-backed Libya helicopter gunship plan

.....
The 20 private military contractors (PMCs) who were evacuated from war-torn Libya aboard two Malta-leased RHIBs and to Valletta, were aviation experts getting ready to operate assault helicopters, Malta Today has learnt.

A full list of names in this newspaper’s possession clearly shows the men who arrived at the Valletta seaport on the Manta-1 rigid inflatable boat on 3 July were not oil and gas personnel, but PMCs with evident military experience........

Now police investigators have learned that the men were specialist pilots engaged to operate six utility and support helicopters, to be armed for “assault and interdiction operations”; as well as seacraft from Malta with maritime interdiction capability to target the sea supply route for weapons from Turkey to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.........
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Old 27th May 2020, 07:14
  #45 (permalink)  
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AFRICOM press release on Russian deployment of aircraft to Libya. Imagery link at the bottom. Not sure what platform/sensor was taking the images.....

https://www.africom.mil/media-room/p...craft-to-libya





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Old 27th May 2020, 07:18
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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A bit more about it here https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ng-up-in-libya

Also looks like Russia was trying to drive off the P8 that spotted them in the air https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-mediterranean
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Old 27th May 2020, 07:43
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Re: ORAC "Not sure what platform/sensor was taking the images....."

Editor’s Note: Imagery of the Russian aircraft can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xwaSf
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Old 27th May 2020, 08:55
  #48 (permalink)  
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Yes Joli, I said that in my post - but it doesn’t identify the sensor/platform taking the photos. Might have been the P-8, then again might have been another platform in the same area.
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Old 27th May 2020, 14:46
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Now police investigators have learned that the men were specialist pilots engaged to operate six utility and support helicopters, to be armed for “assault and interdiction operations”; as well as seacraft from Malta with maritime interdiction capability to target the sea supply route for weapons from Turkey to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.........
Well that's interesting; taking a page from the book on how to deal with Rommel in North Africa, circa early 1940's ...
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Old 29th May 2020, 06:50
  #50 (permalink)  
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British Mercenaries in Libya

An interesting read, probably because some of the names may be familiar

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...rs-gen-haftar/

Five British mercenaries involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Libya’s renegade General Khalifa Haftar were offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their role in the daring plot which went awry.

The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and RAF personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to Haftar’s opponents – the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

A source with knowledge of the secret UN report which revealed the plot told The Daily Telegraph that the men involved were believed on sums of “$30,000 to $50,000 a month, or $20,000 to $40,000 per month depending on whether you were pilot or aircrewman”.

“It was a three-month contract”.

The Telegraph can reveal that the UN investigation concluded that the operation was led by Steven Lodge, a former South African Air Force officer who also served in the British military.

Mr. Lodge, who now resides in Scotland, is a director of Umbra Aviation, a South-Africa based company that has recently supplied helicopters to the Government of Mozambique, where the country is battling a jihadist insurgency in its restive north.

Speaking to The Telegraph over the phone, Mr. Lodge flatly denied the chronicle of events detailed in the UN report. “All the info is incorrect - the whole facts behind the whole thing,” he said.

Battles between the UN backed government and Gen Haftar's forces have been raging for control over Libya “The fact that the UN is leaking is unethical, to say the least,” he added.

The operation was dubbed “Project Opus”, and was run under the cover story of a “geophysical and hyperspectral" survey of Jordan.

Yet, the report, prepared for the United Nations’ Sanctions Committee, alleges that the operation ended in farce after General Haftar disputed the quality of helicopters that had been bought in from South Africa via Mozambique.

The 20 men were forced to flee by RHIB to Malta, some 350 miles away on June 2nd, barely four days after their arrival. In Malta, they were arrested upon arrival and subsequently released without charge.

The helicopters were left behind.

Another of those involved is Andy Furness, a former RAF crewman who spent 26 years in the military before, serving until 2011.

Mr. Furness is now CEO of Amber Tiger, an aviation company based in Cheltenham. He did not respond to repeated requests for comment

Last edited by MG; 29th May 2020 at 07:38.
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:34
  #51 (permalink)  
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This link:
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/n...n#.XtDH8xp4WhA
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Old 29th May 2020, 09:59
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That's quite an involved and complex set up….
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 07:08
  #53 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/e...arns-r0dh6fm09

Egyptian troops ready to join Libyan war, Sisi warns

President Sisi has told the Egyptian army and air force to prepare to join the civil war in neighbouring Libya, amid rising tensions over Turkey’s recent intervention in the conflict.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi instructed his military to be ready to carry out missions “inside or outside our borders” in support of rebel forces in eastern Libya. He warned forces loyal to the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli not to cross the front line near the coastal city of Sirte, which separates them and the renegade commander Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army.

The GNA reacted angrily to his comments, accusing him of “beating the drums of war”.

Turkey’s military involvement has helped to shift momentum, allowing GNA forces to reverse a 14-month assault on Tripoli by troops loyal to Marshal Haftar, who is backed by Russia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt. Mr Sisi’s intervention comes after the Tripoli government rejected a potential ceasefire and the proposal of a new “elected national council” that had been backed by Cairo earlier this month.

The president said Egypt did not want to intervene in Libya and generally favoured a political solution but added that “the situation now is different”. He spoke while visiting an air base near the border with Libya. State television showed him watching fighter jets and helicopters taking off.

“Be prepared to carry out any mission, here inside our borders — or if necessary, outside our borders,” he told pilots and special forces personnel, before boasting that the Egyptian army was “one of the strongest in the region”.

He claimed that Egypt had the right to defend itself after receiving “direct threats” from “terrorist militias and mercenaries”. However, Brigadier Abdul Hadi Dara, a military spokesman for the GNA, said: “Sisi’s statements are a blatant interference in our country’s affairs, and we consider it a clear declaration of war against Libya.”
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 09:58
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https://www.criticalthreats.org/anal...iterranean-war

Warning update: Egypt’s Libya threat risks larger Mediterranean war

................
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi stated on June 20 that Egypt has a legitimate right to intervene in Libya and ordered the Egyptian military to be prepared to do so. Sisi declared the current front line, which lies west of Sirte and Jufra in central Libya, a “red line” in a bid to preserve his Libyan ally’s control of a critical oil-producing region.

Sisi’s threat is an attempt to preserve leverage and secure Egyptian interests after a change in the balance of power in Libya the past month. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Russia had backed Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar in an attempt to seize Libya’s capital Tripoli starting in April 2019.

Turkey intervened in January 2020 on behalf of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and stalled the LNA advance. Turkish military support then helped GNA-aligned forces turn the tide. Haftar’s forces withdrew from the Tripoli front in early June, ending the 13-month effort to seize the capital.

Sisi convened eastern Libyan leaders, including Haftar, to announce a uni-lateral ceasefire on June 6. Sisi’s June 20 assertion that an Egyptian intervention would be legitimate is based on the claim that it would be enforcing a cease-fire.

Sisi seeks to hold the line at Sirte and Jufra to prevent a Turkish-backed advance into the oil crescent region, which Haftar’s forces seized in September 2016. Sisi’s June 20 threat was likely triggered by a Turkish statement earlier that same day that a cease-fire would be possible only if LNA forces returned to their 2015 positions—meaning withdrawing from Sirte and ceding control of oil infrastructure.

Losing the oil crescent would severely degrade Haftar’s already shaky position and would weaken other political and tribal leaders through whom Cairo exerts influence. Jufra district is critical as the LNA’s westernmost military position used to support defending Sirte and pressuring Misrata, a key hub for GNA-aligned militias in the northwest. Jufra airbase also houses Russian mercenaries and aircraft that support the LNA.

GNA consolidation of the line the Turks propose would give the GNA control over the bulk of Libya’s oil infrastructure, removing a key point of leverage that Haftar has used to shape negotiations. Such an advance would severely limit the LNA’s ability to strike into western Libya while allowing GNA-aligned forces to pressure LNA power centers directly, reversing the westward trajectory of the Libya conflict since 2014............

The situation on the ground is tense. GNA-aligned forces are preparing to launch an offensive on Sirte, and LNA forces have announced a no-fly zone and the *deployment of reinforcements in response. Russian mercenaries have begun flying combat aircraft sorties out of Jufra airbase, according to satellite imagery released by US Africa Command (AFRICOM) on June 18.

Egypt had begun to build up additional materiel at al Salloum on the Libyan-Egyptian border as of June 8. There are unconfirmed reports of Egyptian and possibly Emirati aircraft in Libyan airspace as of June 22.

What comes next?

Egyptian leaders likely seek to avoid a full-fledged intervention in Libya, particularly as Egypt faces multiple serious challenges that include rising tensions with Ethiopia over its Nile dam, the ongoing counter-insurgency against Islamic State militants in the Sinai Peninsula, and the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most likely scenario is an Egyptian show of force to persuade Turkey to scale back its support and limit the advance of its Libyan partners, who are reliant on Turkish drones and air defense assets. This scenario would freeze the conflict around the current front line, allowing for a temporary reduction in tensions..........

A worst-case scenario is possible in the near term if key players miscalculate. Egypt, the UAE, and Russia appear to have misjudged Turkey’s willingness to commit assets to Libya. A similar miscalculation could prove disastrous in the current combustible environment. Should Turkey overreach and seek to call Egypt’s bluff by supporting an invasion of the oil crescent, it could incite an unexpected retaliation from Cairo.

Such a direct conflict remains unlikely, but it is an extremely dangerous possibility with regional implications that could be set off by mistakes or miscalculations in an already fraught environment.........
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 07:37
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Convoy of Scud missiles. Juicy target.....

https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2020/0...y-of-scud.html
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 23:59
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Looks like it's time to cook up some more popcorn.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 11:08
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Perhaps its the Egyptians making good on their threats? Either way, I'm sure the Turkish drones are in attendance and will deal with any threat posed.
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 10:16
  #58 (permalink)  
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https://www.politico.eu/article/roug...s-with-allies/

Rough seas for NATO as Turkey clashes with allies

For NATO allies operating in the Mediterranean, it was less collective defence than collective nonsense. A shambolic day at sea, culminating in an encounter that led France on Tuesday to suspend its role in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean, has laid bare tensions at the heart of the military alliance.

On the morning of June 10, southwest of the island of Crete, a Greek navy frigate, the Spetsai, was on patrol as part of the EU's Operation IRINI — an effort to enforce the U.N. arms embargo on Libya that EU officials stress is “neutral” and not aimed against any particular country. The Greek vessel spotted a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship, Cirkin, a squat white-and-blue boat, suspected of being used by Turkey — a NATO ally and still officially an EU membership candidate — to transport tanks and weapons to Libya's U.N.-recognized government.

The Spetsai dispatched its helicopter, a Sikorsky S-70B Aegean Hawk, to take a closer look. But the helicopter and the Spetsai were tersely warned off by three Turkish naval ships, which said the cargo boat was carrying medical supplies, and under their protection. On orders from an Italian commander, the EU forces backed away and reported the incident to EU and U.N authorities.

But things got even testier — and more dangerous — that evening, closer to Libya, where the same small Turkish flotilla encountered a French frigate, the Courbet, that is part of NATO's Operation Sea Guardian. At that point, the French said, the Cirkin's Automatic Identification System was off.

What happened next is a matter of fierce dispute, and subject to a classified investigation at NATO's highest levels.

According to the French defense ministry, which lodged an official complaint, the Turkish ships became hostile when the Courbet, acting on the orders of NATO's Allied Maritime Command, headquartered in the U.K., sought to inquire about the Cirkin's destination and payload. Turkey insists the interaction was friendly, and that one of its boats even refueled the Courbet.

What is clear is that the two incidents have put an embarrassing new spotlight on intense infighting among NATO allies — prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to double down on his assertion that the alliance is experiencing "brain death." And on Tuesday, France sent a letter to NATO, announcing the temporary withdrawal from the Sea Guardian mission, in a move that indicates there was not enough support from the alliance.........

According to the French, as the Courbet followed NATO orders to inspect the suspicious cargo ship, Turkish sailors could be seen in combat positions, and one of the Turkish frigates flashed its radar lights onto the French vessel three times, effectively threatening to shoot. French officials were irate.

"We can't accept that an ally behaves this way, we can't accept that an ally does this against a NATO ship, under NATO command, carrying out a NATO mission," a French defense ministry official said. And at a NATO meeting last month, the French armed forces minister, Florence Parly, demanded an investigation. Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar issued a statement dismissing the French claims as "completely unrealistic."

What seems clear is that Turkey did not want its own allies to see whatever the Cirkin was carrying. And its cargo was delivered without being inspected, despite orders from commanders leading the different EU and NATO maritime missions.

Even NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who normally finds a way to explain away any differences among the alliance's 30 members, could not dispute the stark divide over the events of June 10th.

"The fact is that two NATO allies are involved and those two NATO allies have totally different views on what actually happened. And therefore, the NATO military authorities are now investigating, looking into that instance to try to establish the facts," Stoltenberg said in a public interview last week with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

NATO allies had unanimously denounced Macron's "brain death" remark, but after the recent naval tension, the French leader claimed vindication. "I refer you back to my comments at the end of last year on the brain death of NATO," he told reporters last week. "This was one of the most beautiful demonstrations possible — when we have two NATO members who found themselves in the situation that we went through."....

A Turkish official slapped back at Macron, accusing him of displaying NATO's dirty laundry.

"As a matter of principle, we do not find it appropriate for topics of sensitive and confidential nature for the Alliance to be the subject of media commentary," the Turkish official said. "Unfortunately, there is an increasing tendency on behalf of some allies to publicize such issues, through targeted leaks, anonymous commentary or high-level statements," said the official, who declined to be named.........

Still, other EU and NATO countries, even when politically close to France, are reluctant to acknowledge such a stark divide, given Turkey's military importance — as one of the alliance's largest and best-armed members, and the political risks of alienating Ankara, which could push it closer to Moscow.

That reluctance was vividly on display when only eight out of 30 NATO countries were willing to publicly support France in its complaint about the Courbet incident. Most notable was the lack of public support from Washington and London, where Boris Johnson made clear he did not give much credence to France's view.

The U.K. sees Turkey as an essential part of its global strategy post-Brexit, while the U.S. sees Turkey’s involvement in Libya as a way to curb Russian intervention.

All that has left other NATO countries struggling to calibrate their message. "Turkey is a valid ally," Portuguese Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho said in an interview. "I wouldn't call it a problem, but there are a number of problems relating to Turkey."

https://www.politico.eu/article/fran...mediterranean/

France pulls out of NATO naval mission in the Mediterranean
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 12:09
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Also on the BBC News website.

Libya crisis: France suspends Nato mission role amid Turkey row
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Old 2nd Jul 2020, 13:28
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Russia will be happy for various reasons.
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