Sunday, January 5, 2020

Libya: What is happening (Part 1)

(Tripoli) The current bun fight currently taking place in Libya is getting murkier by the day. The UN approved government  'the Government of National Accord (GNA)' split in half in 2015 with the Tobruk based Libyan House of Representatives forming its own government in 2016 and finally going its own way in 2017. since then the  2 sides have been at war in which to take control of the entire country . Unfortunately for the GNA, it is a hotchpotch of tribes and doesn't have the military might of the  House of Representatives army 'the Libyan National Army' (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar. who is supported by the UAE, Egypt and Russia with arms and money. After clearing out the areas around Tobruk of militia and warlords, the LNA set its sights on Tripoli and currently has the capital surrounded as depicted by the following three maps taken from Live maps

Maps from Live maps
The situation on the ground is that everything blue is controlled by the GNA, everything red is controlled by the LNA. As you can see the latter has the upperhand.  As mentioned the LNA has some powerful and rich friends , air-support has been provided by the UAE , Russia is providing an extensive repair facility which in the 11 months up to last Sept inspected, serviced and repaired the following
  • 100 T-55, 35 T-62, and 10 T-72 tanks; 
  • 77 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles; 
  • 210 BTR-60 armoured personnel carriers; 
  • 21 BREM armoured recovery vehicles; 
  • 41 BRDM-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicles;
  • 10 MT-LB armoured tracked carriers. 
  • 20 2S1 self-propelled gun-howitzers,
  • 6 BM-21 multiple rocket launchers, 
  • 1 2S3 self-propelled howitzer.
The support from the UAE and Russia has been invaluable and currently they have the GNA besieged.  What I find strange is that the GNA is the official UN government and whilst the UN will not get involved in a  civil war, the support of the three countries listed should be enough for the UN to do something m, but like elsewhere it is impotent and the only country which has gone on record to help the GNA has been Turkey. it supplied the GNA with MRAP vehicles last year and supported them with UAVs, problem is, the LNA have taken a very heavy toll amongst the Turkish supplied drones. Last week Turkey voted to send troops to Libya in which to prevent the fall of the GNA. But before that they deployed thousands of Syrian rebels last week where they stemmed an LNA thrust near the capital with 3 suicide bomb attacks.