TRIPOLI, (BM) – According several local sources the Haftar’s forces have reactivated the Soviet ballistic missile Scud B, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Italian news agency Analisi Difese.
The news has yet to be confirmed and could be part of the propaganda logic that aims to renew the prestige and strength of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), especially in a phase of political difficulty in Cyrenaica following popular protests which led to the resignation of Prime Minister Abdullah Thani.
Even with this premise, the news that the LNA has put into service Soviet-made R-17 (Scud B) ballistic missiles formerly belonging to Gaddafi’s army deserves some attention.
The news was announced by the LNA spokesman, Colonel Ahmed al Mismari, quoted by the Russian press and picked up in Italy by the local agency Nova Agency.
“LNA engineers managed to operate some of the R-17 missiles delivered to Libya during the Soviet Union,” Misnari said, according to Russian news agency Ria Novosti.
Moscow has delivered around 200 R-17 missiles to Libya, half of which are currently “in warehouses in the east of the country” while others have been used or destroyed.
During the 2011 conflict, Gaddafi forces deployed at least half a dozen SS-1C Scud Bs against the rebels, mostly from Sirte. The shooting down of one of these missiles by a US ship in the Gulf of Sirte has never been confirmed.
The liquid fuel missile has a range of 300 kilometers, a 985-pound explosive warhead and inaccurate accuracy with a margin of error of up to 900 meters.
The restoration of the Scud B by the LNA may have a limited military value but can express a significant deterrent on the front that goes from Sirte to the al-Jufra air base where the forces of the LNA and the Russian contractors of the Wagner company would be in able with these missiles to hit the port and airport of Misrata controlled by Turkish military forces which at the time do not seem to have air defenses in Libya with capacity to counteract ballistic missiles.
Considering the poor maintenance and conservation conditions of the Libyan arsenals, it is possible to hypothesize that the restoration of the efficiency of these weapons was determined by the intervention of specialized Russian technicians [probably employed by Wagner] who in recent months would have restored P- anti-ship missiles.
15 and SA-3 and Buk anti-aircraft but also many tanks, armored vehicles and artillery systems all acquired by Libya during the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
Libyan civil war
Having ruled the country since 1969, Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in the 2011 civil war. As a result, the country found itself in a situation of dual power: in the east, a parliament is sitting in Tobruk, supported by the Libyan national army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and in the west, in Tripoli, a government of national accord.
In Libya, armed clashes are currently taking place between supporters of different leaders. The country is led by the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Saraj, the “eastern government” led by Abdullah Abdurrahaman at-Thani.
The eastern government is supported by the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.
Recall that January 13 in Moscow, negotiations were held between the heads of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalif Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA) Faiz Sarraj. Also present were members of the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkey.
On the meeting the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has notified Russia about the conditions for continuing negotiations on the signing of a peace agreement in Libya.
According to the requirements of Haftar, the militias operating in Libya are required to surrender weapons in the period from 45 to 90 days. This process should be controlled by a special commission created by the LNA together with the UN.
Haftar also refused to recognize Turkey as an intermediary in resolving the situation in Libya, since the Turkish side is not neutral and supports the Government of National Accord (GNA).
At the same time, the GNA is actively supporting Turkey, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia are on the side of the LNA. Its unofficial allies are France and the UAE.
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