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10 June 2020

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English Outsider


I'd forgotten you did irony, Babak. But maybe another stout Victorian spoke truer than he knew (corrected for a minor geographical error) -

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But eastward, look, the land is bright.

JohninMK

Another factor may well be finance. Erdogan has a desperate need for $ as many loans in Turkey are denominated in them.

If, as you say TTG, he is paying good money to the Syrian Terrorists ST he is certainly charging the GNA a premium price for them and his military. He is currently flying a C-130 in every day.

It is a multi faceted operation. He has moved large numbers of his own troops into Idlib (paid in Turkish Money TM) to defend that territory and especially protecting the ST's families whilst paying a combination of $ and TM to the ST. Making a big $ gain on the transaction.

He now owns the GNA, without him the LNA would have taken over Tripoli.

But the LNA have financial power too. They control Libyan oil exports but the GNA, as the recognised Government, controls the bank accounts. That is why, in an attempt to starve the GNA and hence Turkey of money, the LNA have stopped exports. The GNA have to get that money flowing again as Turkey must be sucking their bank accounts dry. The pressure was on.

This could give the LNA rapid retreat last week a different slant. The LNA were up against the dug in GNA in Tripoli with both sides getting nowhere but more GNA help arriving every day, an untenable situation. The LNA move, with loss of gear but few casualties, sucked the GNA out into open desert and small settlements, all the way to the outskirts of the major LNA port/oil terminal of Sirte.

There the LNA suddenly stopped, turned and fought. Then, for the first time, in came the recently arrived Mig-29s in CAS mode and within a couple of days the overoptimistic GNA were 80 miles back, reversing hard towards Misrata suffering heavy casualties. A cunning trap?

With the LNA's control of the air and its now decent aircraft ranging all over the battlefield at will, the failing stalemate and increasing Turkish power are no longer as significant.

Perhaps now that there is more balanced power on the ground we will see all the outside pressure get the two sides into an agreement.

Fred

Babak,

Thanks for the wise advice. Life is tougher in your former homeland, doesn't sound like you plan on returning.

Babak makkinejad

Fred

Boy you have a thin skin.

Of course life is tougher in Iran.

But you know what? Iranians are tougher still.

Leith

John in MK -

Who is piloting those LNA MIG-29s? And also the SU-24s that TTG mentions? There are reports that 35 LNA pilots were trained at the Egyptian Air Force Academy. And just in the last day or so some Dassault Rafale fighters have been doing CAP over Libya. France denies the are French but Egypt has Rafales. The Emiratis also have some air assets flying for the LNA. They are militarized cropdusters, Air Tractor AT-802.

On the GNA side they have had to use mercenary pilots: Ukrainian, Ecuadoran, and at least one American (who initially claimed to be Portuguese after he was shot down & captured a few years ago). They are also using Ukrainian and Ecuadoran technicians for aircraft maintenance. And Turkey may not just supply drones. MiddleEastEye.net is reporting the Turkish AF yesterday conducted an 8-hour long air drill to Libya to demonstrate that it could rapidly and easily deploy F-16s and early warning aircraft to the country if needed.

What about the AFRICOM drone base near al-Wigh in Libya, is that still active or been reactivated? al-Wigh is in the deep south near the borders with Chad and Niger. It is within the red area on TTG's map that is under control of the Tabu (Toubou) militia.

mcohen

Good article.i made a 3d map of the whole situation.much appreciated.the timeline going back 7 years is almost complete.

JamesT

I'm starting to think that drones on the battlefield are as important as the Germans putting radios into tanks. If I was Putin my main interest would be in using the battlefield as a test laboritory for Russian kit against western kit.

And I have trouble believing that the Turkish drones are performing so well without Israeli help.

The Twisted Genius

JamesT,

Don't sell the Turks short. They have a large and advanced military industrial sector. They don't have a manned aircraft industry beyond some decent attack helicopters so they put a lot of effort into their drones.

Leith

TTG -

Any insight on what is being discussed at the Russian/Turkish/Iranian summit in Istanbul? FM Lavrov & DM Shoigu just flew there as well as FM Zarif. I'm guessing that in addition to Idlib that Libya may have been on the agenda.

The Twisted Genius

Leith,

I have no insights into those discussions, but I'm confident both Syria and Libya are subjects of those discussions.

Leith

Oops! Al Jazeera is saying it is being postponed.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/russia-turkey-put-talks-expected-discuss-libya-syria-200614112829519.html

Keith Harbaugh

Colonel and TTG:
You two know a lot about ME issues.
In his post referenced below, Sundance explicitly links the Muslim Brotherhood to the various Muslim radical cum terrorist groups in the ME.
That was not my understanding.
I thought the MB was/is a group that of course promoted Muslim principles, but that they specifically eschewed terrorism.
If that is true, then what Sundance is pushing seems to me to be Zionist propaganda.
(That would not surprise me, given how he goes out of his way to avoid discussing Jewish influence.)
Anyhow, your thoughts on whether MB/terrorist links exist?
(This is significant because of the influence Sundance has on the Right.)

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/06/18/fifth-redacted-name-in-rosensteins-scope-memo-identified-as-walid-phares/

turcopolier

Keith harbaugh
The MB has long been the base from which violent jihadi groups have come. That is true of al-Qa'ida. The tradition goes all the way back to the assassinations of various Wafd Egyptian Party members and the British Commander of the Egyptian Army. The desire to be seen as a peaceful political party is cover.

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