Esper reaffirms close security ties between US, Morocco

02/10/2020 Rabat – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signed a military cooperation deal Friday with Morocco, his final stop on a Maghreb tour aimed at beefing up the fight against terrorism and Islamic extremists in war-torn the Sahel and helping reach a settlement in Libya. Continuer à lire … « Esper reaffirms close security ties between US, Morocco »

Turkish-backed mercenaries | Over 2,200 fighters return from Libya to Syria in six days, after completing duration of their contracts

02/10/2020 -As the Syrian Observatory continues monitoring and tracking the issue of involving Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries in Libyan war, reliable SOHR sources have confirmed that a new batch of some 800 fighters have returned from Libya to Syria, after completing the duration of their contracts. Accordingly, the number of mercenaries who returned to Syria, after being sent earlier by the Turkish government to fight in Libya, has risen to more than 2,200 in just one week. Continuer à lire … « Turkish-backed mercenaries | Over 2,200 fighters return from Libya to Syria in six days, after completing duration of their contracts »

Tunisia : U.S., Tunisia Sign Road Map for Defense Cooperation

01/10/2020 – Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Tunisian Defense Minister Ibrahim Bartagi agreed on a road map for defense cooperation during meetings in the capital city of Tunis.

The road map discussed yesterday charts a 10-year course for cooperation between the two countries.

Tunisia is a major non-NATO ally of the United States and already works with the Defense Department on many shared interests and concerns. The agreement will advance these shared security interests, said a U.S. defense official traveling with the secretary.

The road map recognizes the importance of the U.S.-Tunisian relationship in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Tunisia is a « security exporter » in the region, participating in many exercises and cooperating with other nations in security matters.

Terrorism and threats from violent extremist organizations are always a danger in the region, and Tunisia is intimately involved in looking for solutions to the migrant crisis. Esper said he is impressed by the Tunisians’ efforts to enhance their capabilities against terrorists, but also to promote stability and security on the African continent.

« The road map is a shared understanding of where our shared priorities are, » the defense official said speaking on background. « It talks about shared objectives, shared interests and shared threats. These are areas where we can work together. »

The road map took two years to negotiate, and it is a clear-eyed look at the relationship and suggests ways to close capability gaps. « We both want to improve [Tunisia’s] military capabilities and training to improve [U.S. and Tunisian] interoperability. »

Some of the shared interests include freedom of navigation, intelligence sharing, humanitarian operations and disaster relief, the official said.

The official would not speak specifically on what gaps the nations see in their military capabilities, but spoke of gaps that African nations, in general, experience — airlift, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance shortages and the like.

The 10-year road map is a relatively new program. It allows the nations to begin the planning and funding cycles in such a way as to build incrementally. The official said this may be a blueprint for negotiations with other nations in Africa and elsewhere.

BY JIM GARAMONE, DOD NEWS

US DEPT OF DEFENSE

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

U.S. defense chief’s rare Algeria visit points to Sahel region threats

Algiers-Reuters

01/10/2020 U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made a rare visit to Algeria on Thursday for talks with the president about war-torn Libya and the troubled Sahel region to the south of the Sahara.

oth countries are alarmed by the threat posed by Islamist militant groups in North Africa and the Sahel, and Algeria is weighing a more active military role against them outside its own borders.

They held “talks on Libya and the Sahel and both parties agreed to maintain cooperation and coordination,” a statement from Algeria’s presidency said.

Esper’s visit is the first by a U.S. Defense Secretary to Algeria since Donald Rumsfeld’s in 2006 and he is also the most senior American official yet to meet President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Tebboune took office in December after last year’s mass protests led the army to push his predecessor Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down after 20 years in power.

The new president has proposed changes to the constitution aimed at mollifying the opposition protest movement, but the reforms would also give the army new powers to intervene in neighbouring states.

“Mark Esper wants to discuss the Algerian army’s possible role in the region once the new constitution is passed as it allows peace-keeping operations overseas,” a Western diplomat in Algeria familiar with the matter told Reuters.

An Algerian source said the talks were expected to focus on Libya, where nine years of chaos after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi have created space for militants, and Mali, where French troops are trying to help quell an Islamist insurgency.

“Algeria has an influence in Mali. It showed it can help. The Americans understood that French military intervention did not curb terrorism,” a senior Algerian security source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

“As for Libya, it is well known that Algeria maintains good ties with all the players including tribes and personalities,” the senior source told Reuters.

REUTERS

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

Libya’s Defense Minister meets Turkish counterpart in Ankara

01/10/2020 – Turkey’s defense minister on Thursday received his Libyan counterpart in the capital Ankara, said the Turkish National Defense Ministry.

After Turkey’s Hulusi Akar welcomed Salahaddin Namroush with military honors, they spoke about the latest situation in Libya, said a ministry statement.

Akar reiterated that Ankara would continue its military and security training and consultation with Libya, adding that Turkey supports Libya’s stability, independence, and sovereignty.

Last November, Turkey, and Libya signed a security and military cooperation agreement.

By Libyan Express

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Image: Libyan and Turkish Defense Ministers. [Photo: A.A]

Libya/US : Al-Sarraj discusses security arrangements with US Jones Group International

  Written By: Abdulkader Assad

28/08/2020 – The Head of the Presidential Council Fayez Al-Sarraj discusses with the US-based security firm « Jones Group International » shared visions for building the capabilities of Libyan security personnel, and fighting extremism and terrorism. Continuer à lire … « Libya/US : Al-Sarraj discusses security arrangements with US Jones Group International »

Turkish DefMin, Libyan minister meet in Ankara

28/08/2020 – Turkish defense minister and Libya’s interior minister discussed the latest situation in Libya in the capital Ankara, the National Defense Ministry said Friday.

Hulusi Akar welcomed Fathi Bashagha with military honors, said a written statement by the ministry. Continuer à lire … « Turkish DefMin, Libyan minister meet in Ankara »

​​​​​​​Turkish mercenaries’ confessions: Fighting in Libya in exchange for Turkish promises to them

26/08/2020 – According to the latest statistics of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey has sent more than 18,000 Syrian mercenaries to Libya, of whom about 7,000 returned to Syria, in addition to about 10,000 from other nationalities.

Thousands of mercenaries join the groups affiliated with the government of National Accord in Tripoli, which is currently planning to seize the strategic city of Sirte, amid a state of international anticipation that subsided with the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement in Libya on Friday. Continuer à lire … « ​​​​​​​Turkish mercenaries’ confessions: Fighting in Libya in exchange for Turkish promises to them »

Lockheed Martin awarded contract for Moroccan F-16s

26/08/2020 – Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract from the United States Department of Defence for F-16 fighters for Taiwan and Morocco, which will receive 66 and 24 respectively under the contract.

On 14 August the Department of Defence announced that Lockheed Martin had been awarded a contract for new production of F-16 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft. “The total value for the initial delivery order is $4 941 105 246 and will be awarded on the same date. The initial delivery order is for 90 aircraft, including both the pre-priced recurring core configuration costs at $2 862 797 674 and the engineering change proposal/undefinitized contract action for the non-recurring costs not-to-exceed $2 078 307 572 obligated at approximately $1 018 370 710,” the contract announcement read. Continuer à lire … « Lockheed Martin awarded contract for Moroccan F-16s »

USA – Apogee-SSU to continue training west African pilots #Chad #Niger

26/08/2020 – US company Apogee-SSU is training Cessna 208B Caravan crews of the Cameroonian, Nigerien and Chadian air forces under a United States government contract.

The US Department of State recently renewed the company’s training contract, Africa Intelligence reports, and Apogee-SSU said on its website it has openings in Africa performing services for the Department of State (DOS), Bureau of African Affairs. This requirement is for the full-time services of three Technical Advisors to train selected aviation personnel in Cameroon, Chad and Niger on Cessna 208B aircraft and respective mission equipment, such as Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and/or Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), so that partner nation aviation personnel are self-sufficient in the operations and maintenance tasks of Caravan aircraft. Continuer à lire … « USA – Apogee-SSU to continue training west African pilots #Chad #Niger »