On the 14th September we received reports from our on-the-ground sources that there were explosions heard at Misrata International Airport, Libya. Following this, we turned to AQINTEL to supply us with ‘before and after’ satellite images of the Misrata Airport to get a visual understanding of the battle that occurred at the airport, what kind of damage was caused and what kind of munitions were used that could aid us in understanding more about the magnitude and source of the attack.
The satellite images taken of Misrata International Airport from the morning of 14th September 2019 show commercial airliners parked around hangers and some smaller buildings at the airport. See image 1 below:
The satellite images taken of Misrata International Airport towards the end of the day on the 14th September 2019 show the damage caused by fighting, see image 2 below.
Analysis of Image 2:
Analysis of image 2 shows there was a sophisticated attack launched against the GNA at the Misrata International Airport attack on 14th September 2019. Our on-the-ground sources reporting hearing “Russian shouting” from forces around the airport during the attack. These two indicators lead us to suspect the Wagner Group or Russian Special Forces recent deployment of personnel to support General Haftar’s LNA were involved this battle. They were possibly working with the LNA or maybe alone. While both Wagner Group and General Haftar have not officially confirmed their work together, images and reports like these seem to be the first indicating factors to help us clarify these facts.
The GNA, which is Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord and currently has support from the US and the EU (except for France), has been petitioning the UN, throughout the month of September 2019, to pass a resolution to condemn those who “are targeting civilian facilities in Libya”. Mitiga and Misrata International Airports were specifically referenced in the GNA’s petition to the UN. The satellite images and our on-the-ground sources show that the GNA are the ones endangering civilians by placing its military assets next to civilian airliners. All the while petitioning the international community to protect the areas by attempting to classifying them as ‘civilian’.
The US has been reported to be waning its support for the GNA, who’s forces are facing numerous alleged crimes against humanity. Coupling this with the GNA mixing civilian and military activities at Misrata’s International Airport will no doubt further strain relations between the GNA and the US. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that the US will show support for Haftar and the LNA. This leads us to believe the US is searching for a possible alternate leader to support in Libya.
While this long Libyan war is messy and many times it is hard to decipher facts, especially due to the dangers of being on-the-ground in Libya, our local sources and ability to gain insights from satellite imagery can help illuminate an otherwise opaque battle. This battle, that has the US and EU countries supporting the GNA and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russians and French supporting the LNA is more about these countries vying for control over Libya’s rich natural resources, of which should ultimately be commercially beneficial only to the Libyan people and not to interested outsider parties.
Note: All satellite images are approved to use by any news publication as long as it is referenced to AQINTEL https://www.aqintel.net/ . Information that has been gleaned from our on-the-ground sources should be referenced to our organization’s twitter handle @LibyaNewsLive1 or our website: https://www.libyanewslive.com/