Islamic State Surges in Libya
On Aug. 23, 2017, nine soldiers from the Libyan National Army’s 131st Brigade — including its commander Ali Al Ghadbane — were killed at a checkpoint near Al Fugha between Sabha and Zillah in southwestern Libya. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. The last attack by the terrorist... Read more
In 1981, Weather and Reporters Stymied a Complicated Air Ambush in Sudan
In reaction to Libya claiming all of the Gulf of Syrte as its territorial waters, in January 1981 U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered the U.S. Navy to conduct a “freedom of navigation exercise” in that part of the Mediterranean Sea. During the exercise, there were dozens of tense encounters... Read more
The Libyans Have a Different Take on Their Battle With the U.S. Navy
On Aug. 19, 1981, U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighters shot down two Libyan air force Su-22 fighter-bombers over the Gulf of Sidra. The American pilots’ version of the clash is well-known in the West. The Libyan view of the battle, however, remains obscure. We can fix that. In 1973,... Read more
United Nations Shines Light on Shadowy Libyan Air War
A group of U.N. experts studying the war in Libya released its final report on June 9, 2017. This nearly 300-page document details political and security developments, violations of human rights and the arms embargo, illicit crude oil exports, the dissemination of state funds and the financing of armed... Read more
Egypt Has Joined the Air War in Libya
On May 26, 2017, armed men traveling in pickup trucks gunned down 28 Coptic Christians and wounded 26 as the Christians were on their way to visit a monastery in Egypt’s Minya province. Islamic State has claimed its responsibility for the attack. That same evening, Egypt announced that its... Read more
Misrata Militants Are Winning the Air War in Southwest Libya
On May 18, 2017, the Third Force — a Misrata-based Libyan militia — attached the Libyan National Army’s Birak Al Shati air base 80 kilometers north of Al Sebha in southwestern Libya. The region is valuable for its oil infrastructure and age-old smuggling routes. At least 134 people —... Read more
The Libyan National Army Is Running Out of Air Power
The Libyan National Army Air Force — part of the eastern-based Tobruk regime, one of two competing governments in Libya — lost two fighter-bombers and an experienced pilot in fewer than two weeks. A MiG-21 shot down over the Al Sabri district in Benghazi and a second MiG-21 that... Read more
It Looks Like Russia Gave a Fighter Jet to Libya’s Warlord
On Feb. 24, 2017, photographs taken by Libyan National Army Air Force technicians — and which appeared on social media — revealed that Russia appears to have supplied at least one warplane to forces under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Haftar’s army, concentrated in eastern Libya and based in Tobruk, is the chief... Read more
Erik Prince’s Mercenaries Are Bombing Libya
On Jan. 11, 2017, Intelligence Online — a professional journal covering the world’s intelligence services — revealed that the pilots of Air Tractor attack planes flying from Al Khadim air base in Libya are private contractors working for Erik Prince, the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater. War Is Boring’s own... Read more
A New Civil War Could Break Out in Libya
Beginning in December 2016, the Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade — an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s Tobruk-based Libyan National Army, was involved in the attack on facilities in Libya’s Oil Crescent. The LNA decisively repulsed the attacks. But the... Read more
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