For several years now Libya has been involved in a civil war between the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli & the House of Representatives based in Tobruk which you may have seen commonly referred to as the LNA due to the Libyan National Army doing the majority of the fighting for the House of Representatives.
More recently it has been noted that the Royal Air Force has been making C-17 flights from Brize Norton to Libya. With C-17s landing at air bases near Tripoli within GNA-controlled territory.
This article is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the UK Defence Journal. If you would like to submit your own article on this topic or any other, please see our submission guidelines.
This article was submitted to the UK Defence Journal by Jordan Stafford who many of you know as Intel Sky & Air on Twitter. Jordan is a keen aviation enthusiast who works in the financial sector. Jordan also has a keen interest in open source intelligence following global conflicts as they happen & tracking military aviation & naval vessels across the world. You can find him on twitter here, we fully recommend you go and follow him. You will absolutely not regret it.
The earliest of these flights that can be found took place on January 20th. & the most recent at the time of the article was on May 29th. A commonality amongst all of these flights is that they are all in & out of Libya within a few hours & have all taken place during the night.
While it isn’t possible to tell the exact nature of the flight as the Ministry of Defence was contacted about the nature of flights. The MoD has responded & said, “However, releasing information regarding this flight, including its purpose, would likely prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of any relevant forces, and would reveal information that would likely harm relations between the UK and another state.”
However, recent British involvement in Libya has been noticeable in the past few days. Some of which could be a clue to why the recent C-17 flights since the start of the year have been taking place.
Some of the recent involvement includes on June 10th Defence Secretary Ben Wallace meeting with high ranking military officials in Tripoli including, Major General Osama al-Juwaili, Major General Ahmed Bushhama & Major General Ibrahim Bait al-Mal.
On June 14th it was revealed through photos that the UK Defence Attache to Libya & the UK ambassador to Libya met with high ranking military officials in Tripoli.
Since the meetings took place no additional C-17 flights have been observed landing in Libya & at this current moment no further word from the Ministry of Defence on the matter.
It seems unlikely that there will be any official word from the Government any time soon regarding the direct nature of the C-17 flights.