Thursday, May 17, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 10 - 16 May


Fighting between Libyan National Army brigades and "Derna Protection Force" (former Derna Mujahideen Shura Council) militants are still ongoing in and around the city of Derna. Following the latest reinforcement, LNA Omar Mukhtar Operations Room has now about twenty brigades in the area (on almost hundred LNA units). LNA claimed seized Al-Hila, al-Fatayeh, suburbs of Sie Aziz, Sie Aoun, al-Khabta and the Haysha camp. Ground forces are supported by LNA Air Force and UAE Wing Loong drones and AT-802s turboprop aircraft flying from al-Khadim airbase in al-Marj. In Sebha, fighting continued in and around the historic castle which was partly destroyed. Since the beginning of May, more than 31 people have been killed and 121 wounded in the clashes. In western Libya, several networks of migrant traffickers were dismantled by Zuwara Police Forces seizing several boats and engines.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,512 words, 11 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My publication in May 2018


Dans son n°135 du mois de mai, DSI Magazine publie mon dernier papier qui dresse un état des lieux des forces aériennes des pays du G5 Sahel - le Burkina Faso, le Mali, la Mauritanie, le Niger et le Tchad - notamment les moyens ISR, la force de frappe, le transport/liaison/reconnaissance ainsi que leur engagement au combat depuis 2015.

In its May issue, DSI Magazine publishes my latest article which draws up an inventory of the air forces of the G5 Sahel countries - Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad - in particular ISR means, the strike force, the transport / liaison / reconnaissance as well as their engagement in combat since 2015.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 3 - 9 May


AQIM is preparing to broadcast a statement from Libya to Mauritania threatening “Western companies and particularly France who plunder these countries”. In Derna, LNA forces lost about ten soldiers in fighting with DMSC militants. During the commemoration of the 4th anniversary of Dignity Operation, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar declared zero hour campaign for Derna. ISIS militants carried out a suicide attack at Gate 90 east of Sirte using three vehicles; only one detonated, the two others escaped. Three people were killed : one LNA member and two civilian. In Benina airbase, the ceremony for the 4th anniversary of Operation Dignity took place on May 7th with 7,000 LNA members. Libyan Coast Guards rescued about 900 illegal migrants off western Libya coasts between May 4th and May 7th.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,558 words, 8 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 26 April - 2 May


On May 2nd, two ISIS suicide bombers attacked and blew themselves up inside the Higher National Election Commission Headquarter in Ghout Shaal district of Tripoli. Sixteen people were killed (including 5 HNEC employees and 4 members of the security forces) and nineteen other wounded. UAE might have been involved in airstrikes in Derna using a drone (Wing Loong) on Monday 30th according DMSC spokesman. On April 29th, a Libyan Air Cargo company C-130 Hercules coming from Mitiga, chartered by Oil Repsol company crashed due to technical failure after taking off from Sharara oilfield near Ubari in southwestern Libya. Three crew members were killed and one wounded. This Libyan Air Cargo C-130 has had another incident three days before the crash when the main cargo door opened during the flight.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,501 words, 11 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 19-25 April


Despite LNA spokesperson, Ahmed al-Mesmari, announced on Wednesday that Marshall Khalifa Haftar will arrive to Benghazi on Thursday 26th, uncertainties remain about his health and his ability to lead the Libyan National Army in the near future. The coming battle for the liberation of the city of Derna will test the cohesion of this army. Despite the ceasefire, fighting resumed around the city of Sebha. In Tripoli, Mitiga International Airport was shelled again by Bogra militia. In Bani Walid area, the LNA Air Force carried out three air-strikes on a camp occupied by the so-called ‘Benghazi Defence Brigades’ near al-Saddada. In Derna, fighting between LNA and DMSC militants increased.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,708 words, 14 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Publication in April 2018


This month, The Aviation Historian magazine published my story about the too short carreer of the Sepecat Jaguar within the Nigerian Air Force. In Air Forces Monthly, I started a new series of articles - in parallel of my regularly Flashpoints - investigating sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘small air forces’, defined as those with 30 or fewer airframes – and which don’t currently find themselves involved in combat operations. The first part concerns Benin, Ghana, Togo air forces.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 12-18 April


Following the admission of Field-Marshall Khalifa Haftar in a military hospital in Paris, his fate remained unclear as contradicting sources reported his death while his supporters denied it. Wednesday in the evening, French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said in a closed meeting for the French government that Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar was in good health after receiving treatment. The same day, the convoy of Marshall Haftar’s Chief of Staff - Abdul Razek al-Nadori - was hit by a VBIED as it was passing through Sidi Khalifah, north of Benghazi killing one and injuring two. Al-Nadori announced few days before the begining of the military operation to storm the city of Derna. 

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,397 words, 9 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 5-11 April


Field-Marshall Khalifa Haftar was announced hospitalizing in Paris. In southern Libya, the LNA’s 6th Infantry Brigade declared a unilateral ceasefire. The Tebu Council of Elders said they had agreed to a ceasefire due to efforts made by Fezzan towns/villages Council of Elders throughout the previous week. Fighting intensified in eastern Libya between LNA and Derna Mujahideen Shura Council. LNA has sent reinforcements toward the city : the 106th, 128th, 155th, 166th Infantry Brigade and the Tariq Bin Ziyad Brigade were ordered to go in the area. A large number of tanks (including T-55s) and tank-transporters have been deployed for the "final" battle announced by the LNA for several days.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,483 words, 12 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 29 March - 4 April


Reliable reports confirmed the collaboration between the two governments in the fighting against Chadian militia in southern Libyan. Fighting are still ongoing in Sebha between the 6th Infantry Brigade and Chadian militia. Tension increased in Tripoli when Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade and the 42nd Brigade clashed with the “Kanyat” 7th Infantry Brigade. President Council spokesman announced the launch of a military operation “Nation Storm” to pursue remnants of ISIS. An Islamic State SVBIED detonated at the eastern entrance of the city of Ajdabiya killing seven people and injuring nine.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (2,014 words, 11 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 22-28 March


The ninth airstrike in Libya under Trump administration was performed last weekend by a US Air Force drone in Ubari killing at least two AQIM leaders including Musa Abu Dawud. The Libyan National Army continued to bring reinforcement in the Southern zone by airlifting troops and vehicles from Benina airbase toward Brak al-Shai airport. LNA Air Force maintained the pressure against Chadian armed groups by targeting their positions in the Sebha region. In Tripoli, some forces of the Zintani Brigades were deployed on the outskirts of Tripoli International Airport. In eastern region, Derna continued to suffer artillery shells bombardment.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,635 words, 8 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 15-21 March


The Libyan National Army has launched its “law enforcement operations” in southern Libya by deploying reinforcement on the Brak al-Shati airbase. Shells continue to fall in several parts of the city of Sebha. In eastern of the country, LNA members suffered an attack by militants of the Derna Mujahideen Shoura Council (DMSC) which captured tanks and vehicles. Libyan coast guards rescued about 200 migrants while an incident occurred with a Spanish NGO ship which was rescuing 216 migrants in international waters. Coast guards also intercepted a Greek oil tanker with the flag of Togo which was carrying about 950,000 litres of fuel.

This report includes :
- Situation in southern Libya
- Situation in eastern Libya
- Situation in western Libya
- Coast guards activities
- Foreign military flights
- Demining activities

To access to the full PDF report (1,300 words, 7 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Libya - Weekly situation report 8-14 March


The situation in the Sabha region is still unsafe. Heavy fighting are still ongoing between Tebu and Awlad Suliman militias. The Libyan National Army loyal to Field-Marshall Haftar uses Mi-35 helicopters to performed armed-reconnaissance mission over the city.  In the Ajdabiya area, Islamist State militants claimed an attack against a LNA checkpoint and fighting continued in the perimeter of the city of Derna. Off Tripoli, 575 refugees and migrants were rescued by Libyan Coast Guard vessels.

To access to the full PDF report (720 words, 5 pages), please contact Arnaud Delalande


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Four Years After an ISIS Massacre, the Iraqi Air Force Opens a New Academy

Cessna 172 Skyhawks and 208 Caravans used by U.S. Air Force and Iraqi air force instructor pilots to train Iraqi students seen at Kirkuk in July 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo)

On Feb. 21, 2018, the Iraqi government announced that the Iraqi air force had reopened its academy at Balad air base. U.S. Central Command announced that the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team will help establish standardized training programs. Forty cadets will start their coursework in March 2018.

Before June 2014, the academy was located at Combat Outpost Speicher in Tikrit. Between June 11 and 14, Islamic State insurgents captured the outpost — and the academy — and killed no fewer than 1,500 Shia air force cadets. Cadet training transferred to Al Kut air base in 2015.

The recent history of Iraqi air force training is a complicated one. Iraqi pilot cadets have undergone instruction in Iraq with U.S. trainers, in Jordan and in Pakistan. The current reforms could bring student pilots home to Iraq.



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Iraq’s Chinese-Made Killer Drones Are Actually Pretty Good


On Feb. 12th, 2018, the Iraqi ministry of defense released a video depicting its Chinese-made CH-4B armed unmanned aerial vehicles. The brief report underscores the type’s success in Iraqi service.

The video claims that the CH-4B drones have executed most of their attack and reconnaissance missions in northwest Iraq. Since their entry into operational service, they have performed no fewer than 260 air strikes against Islamic State targets, with a success rate close to 100 percent.

Iraq ordered its CH-4Bs from China in 2014, probably after the visit to Iraq by the Chinese foreign minister in February of that year. The CH-4 is inspired by the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator and is designed by China Aerospace Long March International.

Iraq’s Chinese-Made Killer Drones Are Actually Pretty Good - CH-4Bs have proved effective against Islamic State


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Egypt Launches a Major Offensive Against Islamic State


On Feb. 9, 2018, Egyptian army spokesman Col. Tamer El Refai announced that the Egyptian armed forces had launched the largest-ever offensive against Islamic terror groups in Sinai, the Nile Delta and the western desert close to the Libyan border.

The Egyptian air force quickly carried out around 30 air strikes south and west of the Rafah and Sheikh Zweid areas, as well as in northern and central Sinai. The day before the beginning of Operation Sinai 2018, Cairo ordered a state of emergency at hospitals in northwest Sinai. Security measures were in place at schools and government buildings.

This is not the first time that Egyptian government has announced a “final” operation against terrorists. The offensives have never yielded the results officials predict. On the contrary, terror attacks have increased in number and intensity.

Egypt Launches a Major Offensive Against Islamic State - Don't expect the terrorists to surrender