Saturday, 22 October 2011 09:40
World Air Force News - Libya
How Gaddafi's convoy was stopped by U.S. drone and French Air force fighter aircraft Mirage 2000.
A U.S. drone and a French Air Force Mirage 2000D attacked a convoy without knowing that Gaddafi was part of it. At war, things are often simpler than we think and chance sometimes if a factor. Twenty-four hours after the event, we can finally detail the course of the air operation which resulted in the capture and execution of Gaddafi.

The city of Sirte - Gaddafi last bastion with Bani Walid - was continuously monitored by U.S. drones. Thursday morning, a MQ-1B Predator spotted a convoy of over twenty vehicles attempting to leave the city. Nobody is able to know who is on board, but it is positively identified as belonging to the pro-Gaddafi. As is the case since the beginning of operations, it becomes a target that needs to be "neutralize". The U.S. drone MQ-1B Predator engages with Hellfire missiles. The convoy is stopped and the vehicles regroup. The command center of air operations decided to bring in some aircraft: a French patrol, consisting of a Mirage F1CR (fitted for reconnaissance missions) and a Mirage 2000D (fitted for ground attack missions), is available in the area. The patrol quickly reaches the zone and is allowed to engage the target, two GBU-12 are fired from the Mirage 2000D, one of which hits the convoy, causing major damage.

However nobody knows that Gaddafi is in the convoy. The air strike attracts Libyan rebel fighters in the sector, including Katiba Tiger, from Misrata. Ground combat starts between rebels and pro-Gaddafi with the outcome we now known: Gaddafi is captured, apparently injured, and executed.

This Katiba Tiger “unit” is well known to French: it is these men that French Navy’s commandos-marine had helped to land in Tripoli, in August, when taking the capital.

Translated by Army Recognition team from Jean-Dominique Merchet, Secret Defense Blog

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