Turkish-backed Libyan Government forces have scored a big intelligence coup. They have captured a superior Pantsir-S1 air-defense system at al-Watiyah airbase. In a twist, the Russian-made system was not provided by Russia, however as a substitute is believed to have come from the United Arab Emirates shares.
The occasions main as much as the seize have been dramatic. First on May 16 a drone focused one of many missile automobiles shortly after it arrived at al-Watiyah. The system was proven being pushed right into a hardened plane shelter, which was then struck by a missile.
The airbase is managed by the rival LNA (Libyan National Army, commanded by Khalifa Haftar). The assault, believed to have been carried out by a Turkish-made TB2 drone, seemingly neutralized the system earlier than it might be put into operation. It was broken however not destroyed nevertheless. It is definitely seemingly that the missile strike hit a ‘technical’ armed jeep subsequent to the Pantsir.
This, it turned out, was a blessing for the Government forces as a result of simply two days in a while May 18 they captured it. Based on quite a few pictures showing on social media it seems smoke broken however largely intact. It is evident that the automobile’s missile tunes have been loaded on the time of the air strike. It has since been paraded as a struggle trophy, and could also be moved to a protected location to be analysed.
The Pantsir-S1, recognized to NATO because the SA-22 Greyhound, combines each weapons and missiles. It is reputed to have the ability to intercept cruise missiles and has been extensively utilized by Assad’s forces in Syria. Despite its efficiency, or presumably due to it, it has been a goal of selection for each Turkish and Israeli air strikes in Syria. What is much less well-known is that it has been current within the Libyan Civil War as nicely.
According to Oded Berkowitz, an intelligence analyst who carefully screens the scenario, it seems that a number of Pantsir techniques have arrived in Libya over the previous two years. The first was seen in June 2018 and so they have been seen in images shared on LNA related social media accounts. Critically these are the mannequin provided to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is mounted on the German constructed Man-SX 45 eight wheeled truck. This automobile is exclusive to the UAE provided techniques. Not surprisingly a United Nations Security Council Council Report assessed them to have been delivered by the UAE to the LNA. The UAE is extensively seen as one of many LNA’s primary backers.
The Pantsir nearly definitely arrived within the nation by air. Most, if not all, weapons shipments to the LNA seem like by way of air at this level. And the techniques first appeared at airbases.
The techniques might have accounted for most of the Turkish constructed TB2 drones which have been downed within the nation.
The seizure of al-Watiyah additionally netted an array of former Libyan Air power plane. Derelict Mirage F-1 fighters and classic Mi-24 Hind assault helicopters may be seen in pictures from the bottom.
Pantsir-S1 continues to be be within the cross-hairs in Libya. In one other drone strike video which emerged at the moment, Turkish-backed forces seem to hit one other close to the town of Sirte. This is round 300 miles from al-Watiyah airbase. It is seen being focused as it’s moved on lowboy trailer, when it seems at its most susceptible.