By Theodore Shoebat
The German government is playing both sides in the Libyan civil war. While they are backing the oppositional Libyan National Army their ally Turkey is arming the internationally recognized government in Libya. Russian defense industry is also involved in this international scheme of war profiteering. Recent photos have shown the Russian made Pantsir-S1 air defense systems (designed by the Russian defense company KBP) now in use in Libya.
These weapons systems, which fire cannons and missiles, are manned on the German made MAN SX 45 8×8 truck, which is designed and engineered by the major German defense company, Rheinmetal.
Libyan Pantsir-S1 SHORAD system on MAN SX-45 chassis ,looks like UAE version. pic.twitter.com/im5BUmYPs6
— Caesar (@Ninja998998) June 19, 2019
The New York Times reported recently that the Libyan National Army did indeed receive this type of weapons technology from the United Arab Emirates. They indeed used this type of weaponry when they shot down a Mig-23 fighter jet of the internationally recognized Libyan government. According to the German publication, Stern, experts have attributed the shooting down of the jet to the Pantsir weapons systems. While the United Arab Emirates has denied breaking the embargo on the Libyan National Army, a UN report confirmed that the UAE did indeed give combat helicopters and armored vehicles to the rebel group. While Berlin has not emphatically said that their weapons trucks have been going to Libya to help the Libyan National Army, we know for a fact that German weapons trucks have been going to the UAE through which they have been entering Libya. In a report from Stern we read:
“From 2000 to 2013, the federal government in Berlin, according to the official arms export reports year after year approved exports of military trucks to the Emirates. In 2010, export licenses for “low loader semi-trailers for artillery rocket systems” for the UAE are also explicitly listed.”
When Stern asked the Federal Government if it had approved for the MAN SX to be used for the Russian Pantsir, it got this reply from the Ministry of Economics: “please understand that we can not comment on individual cases decisions”. But Germany’s State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Ulrich Nußbaum, did say that the government was “not aware of any possible use of the Pantsir missile defense systems in Libya”. However, the Left-wing German MP, Sevim Dağdelen, has said that “the declared ignorance of the Federal Government” in the matter of the Pantsir systems are “not credible”.
Turkey, Germany and other Europeans are involved in capitalizing on the conflict in Libya. Recently it was reported that a freighter with the Moldovan flag disembarked Turkish Kirpi (“hedgehog”) military vehicles – obviously intended for Western-backed Libyan government forces. There is a video from May of 2019 showing the Turkish Kirpi vehicles in Libya:
The Kirpi was created by one of Turkey’s largest vehicle manufacturers, BMC, which was in a joint venture in 2018 with Germany’s Rheinmetal to design a Turkish battle tank, called the Altay. The joint venture was supposedly rescinded by Germany in early 2019. But, this was done solely to abate the political and public outcry against Germany collaborating with Turkey, since these objectors viewed the Turkish government as a destructive regime that has done human rights violations (which is true). Regardless, in March of 2019, T. Yasin Ozturk, a member of the board for BMC, confirmed that Rheinmetal will be involved in the development of a Turkish battle tank. In an interview Ozturk said:
“Although the details have yet to be fleshed out, we will receive consultancy services from Rheinmetall, just like Mr. Sancak said. There are four important points that we need to address on ALTAY before moving ahead with serial production, all of which are under the responsibility of our subcontractors. We believe that waiting for an improvement in Turkey’s means and capabilities in these areas will result in a substantial loss of time for the project. Rheinmetall is one of the leading companies in the world in this field, with many years of experience, and ALTAY is a long-term project that will have an impact on Turkey’s future in many ways. For this reason, we decided that the consultancy alternative would be the best solution with respect to delivering the best tank possible to our nation and state. As I have said earlier, Rheinmetall’s consultancy will focus on various points being handled by our subcontractors, and which constitute the industrialisation aspect of the project.”
So both Germany and Turkey are playing both sides — the opposition forces and government forces — in Libya, with a divide and conquer scheme. In June of 2019 we put out an analysis on how Italy and France are vying for hegemony over Libya. In this same article we pointed out how Germany will also be a key player in the European struggle over Africa. This is not rocket science and nor is it a far fetched claim. In both the First and Second World Wars, Africa was a central point of the sanguinary conflict fought in those very dark wars. Africa is full of natural resources (in the case of Libya, its oil) that Europeans want. So, it is only inevitable that African territories will be on the crosshairs of European powerhouses. And since Turkey at one point had control over parts of North Africa during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, the eyes of Ankara will also be setting upon that prodigious continent that sits across southern Europe. The Italians seized Libya from the Ottomans in 1912, and the Germans competed with the French over Morocco in 1911, only for the Axis and the Entente to fight over Africa in the Great War. The point is, while we don’t know the future in complete detail, we know that Africa is going to be a battleground in the future.
Germany once had missile defense batteries on the Turkish-Syrian border in order to protect Turkey, but in 2015 it withdrew these missile launchers, siting the a “low ballistic missile threat,” as well as the “high costs of the mission” as reasons for the pullout. I suspect that this was done as a way to give Turkey the pretext she wanted to justify its own military independence from Western technological innovation. Ali Demiradas wrote that Germany’s withdrawal pushed Turkey to further seek military independence:
Ankara faced with the bitter reality that it needed its own missile systems when the NATO member Germany prematurely withdrew its Patriot batteries from Turkey’s Syria border in 2015, citing “the high cost of the deployment.” That left Turkey vulnerable to attacks from Syria.
Germany and Turkey are not at odds (they have been allies since German unification. They are collaborating for their own military independence from the United States. Turkey right now is still dependent on various Western countries — like Germany, the US and the UK —, and Germany is still fettered by the US. But this is rapidly changing. With Merkel stating more than once that its time for Europe to pursue independence from American oversight, and with the United States encouraging Germany to spend more money on her own military, what we are currently witnessing is the transitioning towards a militarist Germany and her Turkish ally. Whatever monsters are going to come about from this, we will know they will be spawned by the greater leviathan of the American military industrial complex.