WAR REGIONAL CONFLICT BREWING IN THE Mediterranean

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
EndGameWW3

@EndGameWW3

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1m

Libya National Oil Company: We are worried about the clashes between two groups affiliated with Hafter, near the oil facilities in Sirte. These conflicts show no discipline among the Khafter militias and threaten the security of oil facilities.
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EHA MEDYA

@eha_medya
· 2h
#SONDAKİKA Libya Ulusal Petrol Şirketi:

Sirte'deki petrol tesislerinin yakınlarında Hafter'e bağlı iki grup arasında çıkan çatışmalar nedeniyle endişeliyiz

Bu çatışmalar, Hafter milisleri arasında disiplin olmadığını gösteriyor ve petrol tesislerinin güvenliğini tehdit ediyor
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

Egyptian parliament to discuss military intervention in Libya: state media
By CGTN Africa -5 hours ago

The Egyptian parliament is expected to hold a meeting this week to discuss the political and military situation in neighboring war-torn Libya, state-run Ahram Online news website reported.

The discussion is to be followed by a vote to mandate President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to intervene militarily in Libya to help defend the western neighbor against Turkish interventions.

On Thursday, President Sisi vowed that his country will not stand idle in the face of any direct threats to the security of Egypt and Libya.

His remarks came after tribal leaders allied to the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar authorized him, during a meeting in Cairo, to intervene militarily in Libya.

The tribesmen’s authorization came days after the eastern-based Libyan parliament decided to allow the Egyptian army to intervene in the country’s ongoing conflict to protect Egyptian and Libyan national security.

During the meeting with tribal leaders, Sisi said he needs to obtain the approval of the Egyptian parliament.

On June 20, Sisi threatened to send troops to Libya to protect “Egypt’s national security” as fighting between the Libyan rivals intensified.

Sisi also warned that Libya’s Sirte and al-Jafra, which are currently under the control of the Libyan National Army (LNA), are a “red line” in terms of Egypt’s national security.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rivals with warring forces, namely the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli and the eastern-based LNA led by Haftar.

https://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fafrica.cgtn.com%2F2020%2F07%2F19%2Fegyptian-parliament-to-discuss-military-intervention-in-libya-state-media%2F
 

jward

passin' thru
Evan Kohlmann
@IntelTweet

1h

Armed Iraqi Shiite faction Usbat al-Thaereen has claimed responsibility for firing 3 107mm Katyusha rockets at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad--and sources close to the group are claiming the embassy's C-RAM air defense system "failed to thwart any of the rockets fired at [it]."

Adding to the credibility of its claim of responsibility, Usbat al-Thaereen had posted online messages early this morning prefacing its intention to launch new rocket or missile attacks later in the day.

"Sabereen News" has posted a photo purporting to show the three Katyusha rockets fired by Usbat al-Thaereen at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad prior to their launch. \
View: https://twitter.com/IntelTweet/status/1284912554419073025?s=20
 

jward

passin' thru
Reports shed light on mercenaries, terrorists sent by Turkey to Libya

  • The Arab Weekly
  • Jul 19 2020 09:50 Gmt+3
  • Last Updated On: Jul 19 2020 09:51 Gmt+3

In a development that is bound to cause alarm in Tunisia and other North African nations, Turkey is reported to have dispatched to Libya during the last few months thousands of Islamic extremists, including 2,500 Tunisian ISIS members.
The ISIS extremists were sent to back other militants and mercenaries dispatched by Ankara to fight on the side of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), “Turkish intelligence have transferred Jihadist groups and Islamic State (ISIS) members of different foreign nationalities, from Syria to Libya in the past few months.” These, according to SOHR, included “over 2,500 Tunisian ISIS members” out of thousands of other ISIS-affiliated Tunisians operating in Syria.
If confirmed, the transfer of Tunisian extremists from the remote Syrian battlefield to neighbouring Libya is bound to spark serious concerns in Tunis. The small North African country has suffered major terrorist attacks in 2015 perpetrated by Tunisian ISIS-affiliated extremists after they spent time in Libya. Since the attacks, which caused the death of scores of civilians and foreign tourists, Tunisia has built a 200-km sand barrier and electronic fence on its border with Libya.
SOHR said Friday the most recent batch of jihadist fighters was sent to Libya “a few days ago”.
According to the watch group, “the number of recruits who arrived in Libya rose to 16,100 Syrian mercenaries, including 340 children under the age of 18.”

A new report published Thursday by the Pentagon said Turkey has sent between 3,500 and 3,800 Syrian mercenaries to back the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) over the first three months of the year.
The report, published by the US Defense Department’s inspector general, does not detail the nature of mercenary contingents dispatched by Turkey after the end of March even though Ankara has intensified its intervention in Libya since then.
During the last few weeks, the US military seemed to green-light the Turkish military intervention in Libya over growing concerns about Russia’s influence in the North African country, where hundreds of Russian mercenaries were said to be stationed. The White House has however distanced itself earlier this week with Ankara over Turkish naval moves in the Mediterranean denounced as “aggressive” by France.
The quarterly report on counter-terrorism operations in Africa by the Pentagon’s internal watchdog, published Thursday, says Turkey paid and offered citizenship to thousands of mercenaries fighting alongside militias aligned with the GNA, headed by Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, against troops of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Despite widespread indications of many of the fighters’ extremist links, the report says the US military found no evidence to suggest the mercenaries were affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) or al-Qaida terrorist groups. The US report says the fighters were “very likely” motivated by generous financial packages offered by Ankara.
Later reports by regional sources, including the SOHR watch-group, did however document the presence of Islamic extremists among the fighters sent by Turkey.
The report covers only the first quarter of the year, until the end of March — two months before a string of Turkish-backed advances by the GNA-allied forces in the capital’s suburbs, the stronghold at Tarhuna and a key western airbase.
Haftar’s setbacks trained the spotlight on Turkey’s deepening role in the Libyan war.
The latest report says the Turkish deployments likely increased ahead of the GNA advances in late May. It cites the US Africa Command as saying that 300 Turkish-supported Syrian rebels landed in Libya in early April. Turkey also deployed an “unknown number” of Turkish soldiers during the first months of the year, the inspector general adds.

To the consternation of regional rivals and NATO allies like France, Turkey is staking its hopes for greater leverage in the eastern Mediterranean on the Islamist-controlled government in Tripoli. Ankara’s open military intervention stands in contrast to covert support from foreign backers on the other side of the conflict.
The Pentagon inspector general had reported in its last quarterly review that Russia brought in hundreds of mercenaries to back Haftar’s months-long siege of Tripoli. A private Kremlin-linked military company known as the Wagner Group first introduced skilled snipers and armed drones last fall, inflicting “significant casualties” on GNA-allied forces.
SOHR puts the number of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries who were killed in the Libyan war at about 470, including 33 minors and a number of group commanders.

posted for fair use
 

Plain Jane

Veteran Member


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UN agency: US-sought tanker ‘hijacked’ off UAE now in Iran
By JON GAMBRELLtoday



Oil tanker sought by the U.S. was hijacked july 5 off the U.A.E. coast.;

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A United Nations agency acknowledged Sunday that a U.S.-sought oil tanker “hijacked” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates after allegedly smuggling Iranian crude oil is back in Iranian waters.

The International Labor Organization said that the MT Gulf Sky was hijacked July 5, citing its captain. That mirrors earlier reporting by The Associated Press.
“The vessel was taken to Iran,” the ILO said.

It said that all 28 Indian crew members disembarked in Iran and all but two of the crew without passports flew from Tehran to India on July 15.


The ILO cited the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network for its information. The ILO earlier filed a report saying the vessel and its sailors had been abandoned by its owners without pay since March off Khorfakkan, a city on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Iranian state media and officials have not acknowledged the hijacking and arrival of the MT Gulf Sky to Iran. The U.S. government similarly has not commented.

In May, the U.S. Justice Department filed criminal charges against two Iranians, accusing them of trying to launder some $12 million to purchase the tanker, then named the MT Nautica, through a series of front companies.

Court documents allege the smuggling scheme involved the Quds Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which is its elite expeditionary unit, as well as Iran’s national oil and tanker companies. The two men charged, one of whom also has an Iraqi passport, remain at large.

A U.S. bank froze funds associated with the sale, causing the seller to launch a lawsuit in the UAE to repossess the vessel, the Justice Department earlier said. That civil action was believed to still be pending, raising questions of how the tanker sailed away from the Emirates after being seized by authorities there.

As tensions between Iran and the U.S. heated up last year, tankers plying the waters of the Mideast became targets, particularly near the crucial Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf’s narrow mouth through which 20% of all oil passes. Suspected limpet mine attacks the U.S. blamed on Iran targeted several tankers. Iran denied being involved, though it did seize several tankers.



 

jward

passin' thru
Evan Kohlmann
@IntelTweet

52m

Lebanese Hezbollah sources are claiming that a "secret meeting" has taken place in Syria "between armed factions in Idlib and Turkish intelligence officers to form a unified operations room led by... Jabhat al-Nusra... [including] Abu Mohammed al-Joulani in the meeting."
 

lonestar09

Veteran Member
Is this thread about Turkey and Greece? Or the general area? The tweets at the beginning of the article are not from a working account anymore.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Green light......

Posted for fair use.....

Egypt: Parliament backs military deployment abroad, possibly Libya

July 20, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Published in: Africa, Egypt, Libya, News

Egypt’s parliament on Monday approved the deployment of armed forces abroad to fight “criminal militias” and “foreign terrorist groups” on a “western front”, after President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Cairo could intervene in Libya, reported Reuters.

The Egyptian parliament said in a statement that the troops would be defending national security, without giving further details or naming Libya directly.

The decision came after Sisi said last week that Egypt would not stand idle if there was threat to national security in Egypt and its western neighbour, Libya, if parliament gave its approval.

Shortly beforehand the Egyptian presidency said Sisi had agreed with US President Donald Trump to maintain a ceasefire in Libya and avoid any escalation.

Egypt is concerned about instability in Libya and Turkey’s support for the internationally recognised government in Tripoli, whose fighters have moved closer to the central city of Sirte in the hope of recapturing it from the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar.

Trump: US backs expansion of Turkey efforts in Libya
Sirte is the gateway to oil-exporting ports which are held by the LNA and Sisi last month declared the Sirte front line a red line for Egypt, which supports Haftar alongside the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Turkish support for the Tripoli government’s forces helped force the LNA to abandon its 14-month offensive on Tripoli, a setback for Haftar’s plan to unify Libya by force.

Sisi said last week Egypt would not ignore what he called threats to Egyptian and Libyan security. He said intervention in Libya would require the approval of parliament, which is dominated by his supporters.

A big escalation in Libya could risk igniting a direct conflict among the foreign powers that have poured in weapons and fighters in violation of an arms embargo.

Read: Libya sees arrival of Egypt military supplies to Tobruk
 

Plain Jane

Veteran Member

The Forgotten Conflict That Is Threatening Energy Markets
Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/21/2020 - 03:30
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Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via OilPrice.com,
One of the world’s forgotten conflicts is now making headlines again.

In the last week, the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has reignited, with the two nations having already been engaged in a military confrontation for decades. Nagorno Karabach, an Armenian enclave inside of Azerbaijan, is one of the main underlying factors for the conflict, but the growing rivalry between Russia and Turkey is also playing a part. More than 16 soldiers have been killed in the most recent round of fighting. Both sides are accusing each other of aggression and military action. The use of full scale armed forces and drones have been involved, killing several soldiers on both sides and reportedly an Azerbaijani general. The current outbreak of fighting has been the deadliest since the “April War” of 2016. While most clashes normally occur in and around the Armenian controlled Nagorno-Karabakh region, the current clashes are on the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The international community is urging both sides to end the clashes.

The United States, European Union, and the OSCE Minsk Group are trying to defuse the situation. While it remains unclear what reignited the conflict, it seems that Armenia played a large role in increasing tensions. Armenia recently constructed a new military outpost, which could have given Armenian armed forces a tactical advantage and tempted Azerbaijan to strike. At the same time, Azerbaijan is being buoyed by strong support from Ankara and may have wanted to test Russia’s support for Armenia. Remarkably, Armenia has called upon the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), of which Armenia is a member, to intervene. The CSTO’s response, from Yerevan’s point of view, however, is lacking. As of July 14, the CSTO has only called for a normalization of the situation on the border, not implying that it would provide military support for Armenia. The lack of vocal support from Moscow for Armenia is improving Azerbaijan’s position in the conflict. There is, however, a risk that the conflict will escalate to involve both Russia and Turkey.
While the military conflict may be drawing the majority of media attention, there is also an energy aspect to this conflict.
The military conflict gets full attention but another issue is a major threat to energy markets. The Caucasus is a major oil and gas transfer chokepoint, on which involves Russia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Central Asian countries. Energy market observers should be concerned about the proximity of the current military clashes to the Baku-Turkey oil and gas pipeline systems.

Threats to these important oil and gas pipelines, which not only connect the Central Asian producers to the global markets but also stabilize the region due to growth potential and revenues, are already significant. Gazprom Armenia, a subsidiary of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, stated on July 14 that gas pipelines had been damaged near the border of Azerbaijan. Increased military action on both sides will only increase the danger to existing regional oil and gas infrastructure. Turkey will be hit hard if this conflict does escalate as it is largely dependent on oil and gas from the region.


Regional analysts are already assessing the possibility that the current flare up may have been instigated by Russia.


The Tovuz region where the fighting is taking place is particularly close to Azerbaijan's crucial South Caucasia pipeline (SCP). The SCP channels natural gas to Turkey's TANAP pipeline and is a key component of Ankara's efforts to decrease its dependence on Russian energy. For years, Turkey has been trying to diversify its energy imports, but Ankara is still heavily dependent on Moscow. Russian gas is twice as expensive for Turkey than it is for most European customers, which is why Ankara is so desperate to move away from Russia gas. By getting Azerbaijani gas via TANAP, Turkey has been able to significantly reduce its costs. The Azeri-Turkish partnership could deepen further as a new opportunity arises in 2021, when a major gas deal between Turkey and Russia is up for renewal. Those discussions stalled in April when the two counties failed to reach an agreement. All of this combined means that Russia could be looking at losing market share in a very important growth market.



The main pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline, that supplies gas to Turkey from Azerbaijan, passes through the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan. This area borders the Armenian Tavush, where the clashes took place. Due to its geopolitically strategic location, a possible Turkish military intervention, especially considering its operations in Syria and Libya, is not unthinkable. Blowing up the current infrastructure in Azerbaijan would almost certainly ensure Turkish military involvement. "Turkey will never hesitate to stand against any attack on the rights and lands of Azerbaijan," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday. Erdogan suggested a wider conspiracy lay behind the latest fighting. Turkish pro-government media have been quick to accuse Moscow of encouraging Armenia to attack Azerbaijan, albeit without substantiating evidence. Some analysts believe Turkey’s actions in Libya and Syria are related to this new conflict. Ankara could be forcing a new front, and the hand of Moscow, to get some bargaining power in North Africa.





Whatever the cause of this latest conflict, the situation is on a knife’s edge. Azerbaijan, via its defense ministry, has warned Armenia that it could launch missile attacks on its Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. These threats could be easily be countered by Armenian actions on Azerbaijan’s weak point, its oil and gas transit pipelines. The fallout would be felt not only in European markets, but globally as well.
 
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