On 2 of September, news came from the Algerian-Libyan border that a Chinook military transport helicopter was shot down there. According to one version, the helicopter was shot down in Libya, fighters of Western private military companies (PMCs) were sent to it behind the backs of Gaddafi’s supporters, and according to other sources, British SAS special forces. According to the second version, the defeat of the Western Coalition helicopter occurred on the territory of the Algerian People's Democratic Republic. There is no reliable data on exactly who shot down the helicopter. But, it is clear that in the future this incident can be used against Algeria.
An indirect confirmation of the death of British special forces on the Algerian-Libyan border, was the message of the English military expert Peter Beinchley, who referred to sources in the Special Airborne Service. According to the expert, “the official loss figures are not disclosed. But, according to various sources, this is from 21 to 35 military personnel. ” These are Tripoli who died in the assault and were in a fallen helicopter. The remaining 173 fighter of the elite 22 regiment of the SAS (the regiment specializes in offensive-assault operations, anti-revolutionary and anti-terrorist actions) must return to their homeland. The British command recognized the losses they suffered during the war in Libya, unacceptable.
Another point that causes the anger of the Libyan rebels is that the Algerian authorities contributed to the escape of the closest relatives of the leader of the Jamahiriya, and then began to harbor on their territory the remnants of the broken units of the supporters of Gaddafi. Thus, on August 31, up to five hundred Tuareg crossed the Algerian border, and the Algerian authorities refused to extradite them. The Algerian authorities justify their actions with considerations of mercy and humanity, since a large proportion of refugees, women and children. The rebels claim that most of the fugitives are “war criminals”.
It is clear that the Algerian authorities were not “fans” of Gaddafi, but they did not need the power of the Islamists in the neighborhood. The country just recently experienced a bloody civil war in which government forces opposed the Islamists. The war went on for a decade (1992-2002) and claimed tens of thousands of lives. The victory of al-Qaeda in Libya will lead to a new round of confrontation. The Libyan war has already caused the intensification of the Islamist underground, the attacks of the radicals from Mali.
Algerian actions are dictated by their own interests. Abdelaziz Bouteflika is a realist and well aware that the territory of Algeria is one of the key goals of the Western world in terms of global "modernization" and redrawing the map of Islamic countries. And that the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan "democratization" should inevitably be followed by a similar attempt in relation to the Algerian state. The script will work regardless of the behavior of the leadership of Algeria.
Beginning in April, a country whose leadership several times solemnly announced its victory over the terrorists, faced a new surge of terror. In total, since the beginning of the “Arab Spring”, Islamic militants, according to various sources, killed more than 200 Algerian security officials (for comparison, in Syria, which attracts the attention of the world media, more than 500 police and military were killed by “peaceful demonstrators”. And the authorities are still not able to neutralize the Islamic radicals that have become active in the east of the state.
The situation for the Algerian leadership is complicated by the fact that they have to strengthen the protection of not only the border with Libya, but also the border with Mali. Islamic radicals (Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb countries) are also strengthening their position in this country. Thus, one of the leaders of the Tuareg ag Bakhang was recently killed there. According to the Algerian newspaper Al-Vatan, the Tuareg leader was killed while attempting to intercept a caravan of weapons that was traveling from Libya to the area of the city of Timbuktu, the famous stronghold of Islamist militants.
Apparently, this Tuareg has interacted with both Gaddafi and Algerians, who have long been trying to prevent the radicals from turning Mali into their rear base. The territory of Mali is actively used for attacks on Algerian territory. Thus, recently, militants attacked a gendarmes unit in the Tamanrasset area, according to official data, the loss of security forces made 11 people killed.
Algeria significantly strengthened the protection of the south-eastern and south-western borders, but so far there has been little progress in the fight against the Islamists. Moreover, a dangerous situation is created when Algerian law enforcement forces have to confront a mobile, well-armed enemy on two fronts, the Malian and Libyan. And they are both very long, they are almost impossible to block completely. If the pressure of the Western world is added to this, the situation will become even more complicated.