Saturday, October 1, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 19 - 30 September 2016

Two major events can be noticed during this period : the loss of Libyan National Army Air Force (LNA / AF) Mi-8T serial number '1432' (with three crew members and three passenger killed) and the death of civilian in an airstrike near al Jufrah by unidentified aircrafts.

LNA / AF operations

On 19 September, Mi-8T helicopter serial number '1432' coming from Ras Lanuf crashed in Mechili village, around 120 km west from Tobruk killing three crew members (Colonel Ulmer Jaber Ismail Marian Hamida, Colonel Abdulrahman El-Hamed, Colonel Hamad Abdel Salam Faraj) and three passengers (Colonel Idris Yunis al-Dressi, chief of staff for Tobruk parliament president Aqailah Saleh's office, Ahmed Idris Yunis Osman, First Lieutenant Radwan Ayash Yusuf). Two passengers were safe (First Lieutenant Jawad Ghaithi, Major Mohammed Abdullah Harun Marian Hamida). On 20 September, civilians were killed in an air strike near al-Jufrah base, 250 km south of Sirte. According to LNA forces, the 12th Brigade was targeted by the aircrafts from Misrata airbase, but Tripoli denied and accused airplanes taking off from Ras Lanuf runway (some MiG-21s have already used the airbase to perform strikes in January 2015) seized by the LNA week earlier (according to Libyan sources, the fighter bombers would have sought to target PFG commander, Jadhran Ibrahim, who was supposed to have taken refuge in this area). On 21, LNA/AF launched four air raids targeting concentrations of militants groups in the region of Ganfouda with MiG-21 alternatively with MiG-23 claiming the following destructions :
- House containing a number of militants and ammunition
- Armed device
- Enemy observatory
- Anti-aircraft gun trying in vain to target the planes

On 24, a SDB (Saraya Defend Benghazi) convoy was reported targeted on the road linking Waddan and Zilla. The same day, one  MiG-23 has conducted airstrikes in southern Benghazi while SDB forces reportedly entered in Mabruk Oil Field after being targeted by LNA/AF airstrikes west of Zillah. On 28, MiG-23BN performed air raids on concentrations of supposed Al-Qaeda militants in Alshwaar Valley near the city of Derna.

On 29 September, after preparing and monitoring the objectives to be bombed during the previous days the LNA/AF targeted several goals in Derna and Benghazi consisting of the following :

- MiG-23BN targeted a supposed Al-Qaeda positions in the back of the Red Zone
- MiG-23ML targeted militants groups in Ganfouda area
- MiG-23s and MiG-21s targeted mechanisms and personnel from militants groups elements in the al-Sabri district, which led to the destruction of two vehicles and a number of individuals
- Mi-8s and Mi-35s performed sorties patrolling and monitoring the areas in the vicinity of the oil ports in anticipation of any suspicious movements.

GNA affiliated Air Force operations

During this period, the Misrata Operations Room has reported the following :
- On 27, five airstrikes performed in Sirte
- On 28, fourteen airstrikes during the past 48 hours
- On 29, six sorties over the center of Sirte

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