Frederic Wehrey
Frederic Wehrey is a senior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research deals with armed conflict, security sectors, and identity politics, with a focus on Libya, North Africa, and the Gulf.
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During his recent trip to Libya, Frederic Wehrey saw evidence of cluster munitions used against a bank in Libya. The munitions were probably used by the aircraft of the Dignity camp, who obtained the munitions from the former Qaddafi regime in Libya. Preventing the use of the munitions in the future may not be easy as there is an ongoing civil war in Libya with “winner take all” mentality dominating the thinking of the fighting factions.

While both the Dawn and Dignity camps have access to heavy artillery, tanks, and grad rockets the real difference between the weapons of the two sides is that Dignity has more aircraft and has access to munitions for these aircraft from outside of Libya. While Dawn has repaired some aircraft, this side has been flying far less sorties.

But the aircraft on Dignity side, including the ones that have probably used cluster munitions, may not be all that effective. Those aircraft fly and bomb at high altitudes, making them very inaccurate. Also, historical evidence suggests that aircraft alone are not decisive in victory. As the “balance of weakness” continues in Libya, it will be hard to end the ongoing conflict in Libya. This has made the conflict particularly bloody. 

This interview originally appeared on RFI.