Saturday, August 27, 2016

New evidence of the using of cluster bombs in Libya

Official photos from the Libyan National Army, published on Aug. 15, 2016, indicate that the LNA is using cluster munitions in Libya.

The LNA, headed by Gen. Khalifa Haftar — a former officer in the regime of Muammar Gaddafi — has pledged allegiance to the House of Representatives faction in Tobruk, one of many competing political entities in Libya.

In May 2014, the LNA launched Operation Dignity, its ongoing campaign against Islamist armed groups in Benghazi and Derna. Now we can reasonably assert that this campaign involves cluster munitions, which spread small explosives over a wide area and risk disproportionately endangering civilians.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SIGINT and reco missions over Iraq - warning Mig-25

53-BZ  with UN markings inflight during operation TARPAN in 2003
(Credit photo Adj Trestard, ERS 1/91)

In April 1992, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 688, calling on Baghdad to cease its crackdown on Iraq’s rebellious Shia majority and “ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected.”

Operation Southern Watch, the U.S.-led coalition effort to patrol the air space over southern Iraq, began that August. Its goal — to protect the Shia in line with Resolution 688.

But as French pilots soon discovered, the Iraqi air force didn’t just roll over and let coalition planes operate unopposed over Iraqi territory.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 21 July - 10 August 2016

This period was caracterized by the 'official' engagement of US aircrafts in the battle of Sirte on 1st August and the death of commander of Misrata Air Force, Brigadier General Mukhtar Fakroun and Colonel Omar Dogha, in the crash of their L-39 near university of Sirte and claimed shot down by IS on 10 August.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"The two Libyan Air Forces" Who’s backing who ?

On May 16, 2016, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council expressed their readiness to lift the world body’s arms embargo on Libya in favor of the new Government of National Accord. For one reason. The GNA’s deputy prime minister Musa Al Kony had requested planes and helicopters to equip his forces fighting the Islamic State. The GNA relies on the Libyan Dawn Air Force, or LDAF, for its air power. But the LDAF is really suffering. The request highlighted Libya’s confusing politics. The GNA, based in Tripoli in western Libya, has many rivals. And arguably the strongest of these rivals is the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Iraqi Air Force uses transports as auxiliary bombers

On July 17, 2016, the first photo appeared on social media depicting an Iraqi air force An-32B Cline transport aircraft carrying a bomb on an external pylon. It’s not the first time that transport aircraft have pulled double duty as bombers.

Erratum : Iraqi Air Power Reborn book

Following the publication of 'Iraqi Air Power Reborn', some readers reported some errors in the book. The list below is not fixed and will change over readers comments :

1 - Data are missing in the attrition table p76 :

The Mi-17 that made a hard landing at Tikrit on 26 June 2014 (see p61) is not reported in the table

2 - There are some contradiction between the text and the attrition table p76 :

The type of helicopter is reverse for the two losses of 6 and 19 January 2014 in the text p60. Data in the table are correct. The text should have been : 'On the 6th, a UH-1H crashed near Tikrit, killing its pilots Capt Mohammed Khaled Aziz and Lt Ahmed Ali Mohsen. On the 14th, helicopters intervened in Saklaouya, a city near Fallujah, against insurgents who had stormed the police station. On the 19th, Leith Yahya Al Karbalai and Sebah Abdel al-Hassan al-Gharibawi from the 4th Utility Squadron died in the crash of their Mi-17 at al-Habbaniyah AB'


Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 9 - 20 July 2016

This period was characterized by the lost of one LNA AF Mi-17 from al-Abraq air base on 17th July killing three crew members (pilot Capt Omar Drissi, co-pilot Boubacar Omar al-Hassi and air engineer Fathi Warfali. The Sherkasi’s DBB (Defend Benghazi Brigades) Militia (also named Saraya Defend Benghazi or SDB) claimed to have down a Mi-35 'Hind' with a SA-7, but pictures of the wreckage published on the social media show clearly a Mi-17.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

My publication in July

This month, I published three articles in August issue of Combat Aircraft Monthly. Foremost, two short items in World News section about the second Iraqi 'Vipers' batch that began test flights and one of the two Libyan Mirage F1ED returned to sevice and finally lost. The major item is a Combat Report on operation 'Breaking Terrorism', the battle for the recovery of Fallujah in the hands of Islamic State since January 2014.

Friday, July 8, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 2 - 8 July 2016

Very little communication on air strikes this week from GNA affiliated Air Force, but many were performed each day. The main information from the LNA Air Force side, is the lost of one of its two MiG-23BNs (probably serial number '4136') and especially one of its most experienced pilots, colonel Idriss Al Obeidi well known for his low pass onboard Floggers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Libyan National Army Air Force lost one of its two MiG-23BNs

On 6th July morning, one of the two MiG-23BNs in service with 1070th Squadron of the LNA AF (Libyan National Army Air Force) crashed west of Benghazi killing its pilot Col. Idriss Al Obeidi who died of his injuries. Obeidi was well known for his low pass onboard Floggers especially over the Benina airbase runway.

The first MiG-23BN, serial '8985', made its first flight on 30th April. One of peculiarities of the two aircrafts is that both was featured with IFR probes (for more detail, read the story of the LAAF IFR probes project on War Is Boring).

Monday, July 4, 2016

Who was really involved in the ISIS convoy attacks near Fallujah ?

On 30 June, 2016, the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad announced an attack on a big convoy of Islamic State fighters moving out of Fallujah.

During the night of June 28 and 29, someone destroyed most of this convoy — around 260 vehicles — and killed as many as 750 militants.

Later during the day, the spokesman for the coalition Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve announced that it took part in these air strikes — but Iraqis sources denied that claim.

Who was really involved and what was the actual target? I asked Iraqi military pilots. And what they told me contradicted the coalition’s official story.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 25 June - 1 July 2016

Two events are worth noting this week. The first is a temporary ceasefire agreement between MSCD and LNA signed by General Haftar, Agila Saleh and facilitator Basit Igtet on 27th June. The second was the overflying of Benghazi by a unidentified MQ-9 Reaper armed drone on 29th.

Friday, June 24, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 18 - 24 June 2016

No information was provided by GNA AF this week. Only two photos taken by BBC correspondent, Quentin Sommerville, currently in Sirte, showing one of the two MiG-23MLD and one S100 Camcopter belonging to GNA in the sky of the city.

Friday, June 17, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 11 - 17 June 2016

Very little communication on air strikes this week from LNA AF and no information was provided by GNA AF. First footage of a new MiG-21MF (serial number '04') appeared on 11th June. This aircraft is probably one of the six ex-Egyptian MiG-21MFs arrived at Gamal Abdel Nasser airbase near Tobruk on 6th March 2016. First photo was taken at GANAB and second is extracted from a video taken at al-Albraq AB.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 4 - 10 June 2016

GNA forces offensive against ISIS in Sirte

GNA affiliated forces continued their offensive in Sirte last week capturing key points near the city. On 4th June, Misrata militia captured Al Gardabiya airbase. Shortly before, the GNA Air Force performed five successful airstrikes in Al Gardabiya, Abu Hadi and south of Sirte. Libyan fighter jets carried out five other strikes against concentrations of ISIS militants in the vicinity of runway 17. Another five strikes were made against militants fleeing from Al Gardabiya airbase, bringing the number of offensive sorties to ten.

Pictures of airstrikes from LDAF on ISIS positions west of Al-Gardabiya base, south of Sirte (approx 20 km)