Author Topic: UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya  (Read 266 times)

Offline drunkenshoe

UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya
« on: August 28, 2020, 07:18:08 AM »

The BBC has uncovered new evidence that a drone operated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) killed 26 unarmed cadets at a military academy in Libya's capital Tripoli in January 2020. At the time of the strike on 4 January, Tripoli was under siege by the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). It has denied responsibility for the attack and suggested the cadets had been killed by local shelling. But evidence indicates the cadets were hit by a Chinese Blue Arrow 7 missile.

This was fired by a drone called the Wing Loong II and the investigation by BBC Africa Eye and BBC Arabic Documentaries also found evidence that, at the time of the strike, Wing Loong II drones were only operating from one Libyan air base - al-Khadim - and that the UAE supplied and operated the drones that were stationed there.

What else did the BBC uncover?

The BBC investigation also found new evidence that Egypt is allowing the UAE to use Egyptian military air bases close to the Libyan border.
In February 2020, the Wing Loong II drones stationed in Libya appear to have been moved over the border into Egypt, to an air base near Siwa in the western Egyptian desert.

Satellite imagery also shows that a second Egyptian military air base, Sidi Barrani, has been used as an operating base for Mirage 2000 fighter jets painted in colours that are not used by the Egyptian air force, but which exactly match the jets flown by the UAE.This is the same model of plane implicated by the UN in an air strike on a migrant centre east of Tripoli in July 2019 in which 53 people were killed.

Foreign jet suspected in Libya migrant attack
Sidi Barrani is also the destination for multiple cargo planes that took off from the UAE, suggesting an air bridge for equipment or supplies between the UAE and a military base just 80km (50 miles) from the Libyan border.
The Egyptian government did not respond to the BBC's request for comment.

Is foreign military involvement surprising?

Both the UAE and Egypt attended a conference on Libya convened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in January this year, where they reiterated their support for the UN peace process and agreed to refrain from intervention in Libya's war.
But in the past year, there has been an escalation in the use of drones by both sides in the conflict. Ghassan Salamé, the former head of the UN mission in Libya, described this as "possibly the largest drone war theatre now in the world".

The UAE is not the only foreign power involved in this conflict.

"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline SGOS

Re: UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 09:03:16 AM »
I've heard of maybe one or two other conflicts involving the UAE, but I don't follow Mideast conflicts closely.  Is this a new face for the UAE, or have they always been involved in this sort of thing?

Offline Baruch

Re: UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 12:01:56 PM »
UAE funds lots of things, often the opposite of Qatar.  I don't think either Gulf State has much of an air force.  Egypt would do the heavy lifting for UAE.  UAE and Bahrain are closely allied to Saudi Arabia, in opposition to Qatar.  The Russians are flying unmarked jets in Libya, in opposition to the Tripoli government that Erdogan supports.  Egypt has pulled part of their army up to the Libyan border in support of Bengazi.

Yes, Turkey has made lots of enemies, and is making more.

Of course UAE just made kissy-face with Israel, which also supports Bengazi against Tripoli.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 12:06:17 PM by Baruch »
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