5 Dicembre, 2022

Mediterranean Security Update

Libya. During the last week the security situation in Libya has worsened. On 14th March Haftar’s troops launched an assault and seized two of the country’s key eastern oil terminals that were conquered by rival militias during the first week of March. While on 19th Haftar’s forces have captured the last blocks in Benghazi ending weeks of resistance. Moreover, a force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until last month in Benghazi, showing the strong relationship between Haftar and Russia. Even the security situation in Tripoli is volatile since the clashes that erupted between rival militias on 14th March.
Egypt. The Russian Defence Ministry ruled out that members of Russian Special Forces have been deployed on Egyptian military bases of Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km) from the Egypt-Libya border, and of Marsa Matrouh. However, Reuter reported that Russia has deployed Special Forces in Egypt to boost Haftar in Libya.
Turkey. On 11th March a diplomatic crisis arose between Turkey and Netherlands that barred Turkey’s foreign minister from entering the country and forcing the Turkish family affairs minister to leave. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Netherlands “fascists” and “remnants of Nazis”. On 15th roadside bomb killed two Turkish soldiers in southeast Turkey.
Syria. On 15th March the Syrian conflict has entered the 7th year with much of the country in ruins, its economy decimated and half its population dead, miss­ing or homeless. More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in four-and-a-half years of armed conflict, which began with anti-government protests before escalating into a full-scale civil war and a kind of proxy war. Twin blasts killed 40 people in Damascus while Russia is playing a key role in Homs where Syrian opposition fighters are allowed to leave the last rebel-held neighborhood.
Jordan. Throughout the last month the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Army, a Syrian rebel group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in June 2016 took over villages in the Syrian south sparked the concerns of Jordanian authorities that radical groups in that area constitute a danger for Jordanian national security.
Israel. On early Friday, 17th Israeli warplanes struck several targets in Syria that launched several antiaircraft missiles. Syrian official claimed to have shot down one warplane but Israel denied. During the last years Israel has conducted dozens of raids in Syria in order to attack Hezbollah convoys and warehouse.
Iraq. On 19th Iraqi forces have captured two key neighbourhoods in its offensive to retake the western part of Mosul. The advance followed intense clashes between Iraqi forces and ISIL fighters. On 15th Iraqi forces took control of a main bridge leading to the city and advanced towards the mosque where ISIL’s leader declared a caliphate in 2014.
Europe. On 18th an ISIS affiliate attacked a military patrol in the French airport of Orly, he wounded one soldier and then was deadly shot. Europe is constantly threatened by foreign fighters. EU Counterterrorism said that one-third of the estimated 5,000 European jihadists who went to Syria and Iraq have returned to their home countries, an unknown number of them undetected.

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