Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Qaddafi Fires A Scud At Rebels

     Defense Tech reports that some of Qaddafi's military forces launched a SS-1 Scud at the rebel held town of Brega, but missed by about 50 miles.
     While it is good that the Scud missed the town, what is interesting about this is that Qaddafi still has Scud missiles in existence. When the Allied coalition set up the no-fly zone, almost every air defense system was destroyed (with the exception of MAN Portable Air defense System), and a good deal of his artillery and armor were destroyed in later airstrikes. How the Allied forces managed to miss a Scud TEL (Transporter, Erector, Launcher), is very unusual as they tend to be on the top of the list when taking out a 3rd world country's military (during the wars in the Persian Gulf Scuds were the coalition's #1 target because they could have reached Israel, and Israel if attacked by Iraq would have attacked Iraq and thereby destroyed the coalition). 
     What is more concerning however, is that Qaddafi may have more Scuds, and other surface-to-surface missiles. Global Security lists Libya as having 80 Scud-Bs as of 2005, and 45 FROG-7 (Free Rocket Over Ground 7) surface-to-surface missiles as of 2010. Some of these missiles would probably have been taken out by Allied airstrikes, but there have been no reports of any Scuds or FROG-7 being destroyed. The advancing rebel forces probably have either captured of destroyed some of these missiles as well, but there have been no reports of this yet. 
     However, Qaddafi might be most of his surface-to-surface missiles nearby Tripoli or somewhere where most of the people are loyal to him, as an ace up his sleeve. This not all that unlikely as Qaddafi, as do probably most dictators, is probably keeping these missiles in reserve for some major attack whereby he can undermine support for the no-fly zone and the rebels. This could be supported by the fact that an Italian frigate operating 12 miles off the coast of Libya, was fired on by someone using an unknown type of missile, which crashed into the water about 1 mile away.
     However Qaddafi intends to use the surface-to-surface missiles, he will use them in the fashion that will garner maximum possible publicity to undermine support for the Allied coalition.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

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