Resource Intelligence Online published an article about mercenary pilots, probably working for Eric Prince, the founder and former head of the famous private military company (PMC) Blackwater. Pilots take off from the base of al-Khadem and fly airplanes AT-802. AT-802 is an agricultural aircraft in the early 90-ies, produced by the American company Air Tractor (“Air tractor”), designed to spray fertilizers and pesticides, but there are a modification of the AT-802U from 2009. The AT-802U is a light attack. Used of the air forces of Colombia and the UAE.
Today UAE’s support of General Khalifa the Haftarot. Haftar is an interesting figure. Born in 1943, graduate from the Military Academy of Benghazi, were trained in the Soviet Union and Egypt, speaks Russian, took part in the coup that brought to power Muammar Gaddafi. In 1973, during the war with Israel, he commanded Libyan units supporting Egypt. Participated in the Chadian-Libyan conflict, and was captured. After that, Gaddafi renounced Haftorah, which greatly influenced the relations between them. With the support of the CIA’s Haftar escaped from captivity and moved to Zaire, Kenya, and finally in the United States. Lived there for almost 20 years, became an American citizen. In 2011, Haftar returned to Libya and took part in the war.
After many years of political and military maneuvering in the chaos of the Libyan events, after the experienced assassination attempts, Haftarah in April 2016 during the campaign for the return of the army of former officers of Gaddafi became commander of the national army, which its opponents, however, call another personal group. Khalifa Haftar, until recently, enjoyed the support of the United States, but after the refusal to recognize established in March last year, the government of national consensus American friends to him grew cold. The Haftarah today is supporting the Parliament in Tobruk, and he is based in the district of Benghazi, and periodically conducts military operations against Islamists, and against groups affiliated with Tripoli.
General visits Moscow and talks with Russia about the support and supply of arms, and assisted by Egypt and the UAE.
For the first time in the UAE AT-802 was spotted on an unidentified base in Libya in June 2015. In November 2016, “the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi”, a radical Islamist group linked to “al-Qaeda”, issued a video in which the AT-802 deals UAE air strikes in support of forces of General Haftorah.
Erik Prince moved to Abu Dhabi in 2010, establishing the Company Reflex Responses (R2), which in 2011 received from the UAE contract to build a foreign mercenary Legion, designed to deal with counter-terrorism and internal security. And although now the Prince works for Chinese investors, its relations with the UAE remain strong. According to its own data resource War Is Boring, pilots, bombing with the AT-802 are mercenaries and not Arabs, and generally hired aircraft pilots this kind is usually Americans.
Previously, Prince had already considered the purchase of American agricultural aircraft Thrush 510G for the Austrian company Airborne Technologies in which he has a 25% share. The aircraft, after major modifications in Austria, with hired pilots have been used in Africa for reconnaissance and fire support of private military companies from the air. Prince wanted to create a fleet of 100-150 aircraft, but it stopped on the modification of just two.
In 2013 and 2015, according to The Intercept, the Prince personally has frequently visited Libya and offered including services for the use of aircraft and mercenary pilots of the company.
By the way, a curious fact that the sister of Erik Prince, the politician and billionaire Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos, in November was named by the U.S. Secretary of education in the administration of President-elect Donald trump.
In 2015-2016 wrote a lot about the American mercenary pilot Fred Schroeder, who contract in Libya worked for six years in China. Shredder was piloted by Mirage under contract with Qatari company and was based at Benghazi.
Apart from the possible pilots of the companies Prince, in the skies of Libya flies a lot of the other mercenaries. Air force Libya Dawn rebels Air Force (LDAF) was applied in search of mercenary pilots to Ukrainian and Jordanian companies, in June 2016, the Portuguese mercenary killed the pilot of the Mirage F1ED.
The pilots of the Moldovan Sky Prim Air connections with Oscar Jet from the UAE to fly transport planes in the interests of the government in Tobruk, in December in RAS lanuf had seen the hired pilot of the company Air Cargo Company, which at least is engaged in the transportation of goods and people in Libya.
In 2016, the online Middle East Eye published several materials, which States that UAE air force perform combat missions over Libya and intercepted ongoing including English negotiations pilots in the skies of Libya in addition to British and American accents are heard more French and Italian accents.
After intensive negotiations the General Haftarot with Russia and a visit to the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” from foreign commentators, the question is how soon and will it be heard Russian speech in the skies over Libya.