Monday, 6 February 2012

Kevin Dawes Selected Videos

Kevin Dawes has now posted nearly 300 videos on Youtube of his time in Libya, here’s a small selection of some of those videos:
The Misratan ambush of March 6th.

In this video Dr. Tameem explains how Misratan rebels captured a large number of weapons from Gaddafi forces after they ambushed a large Gaddafi force that had fought its way into the centre of Misrata:

Actually in Misrata, we have never lost territory after gaining it.  After, how do I say, before that we were attacking the academy.... Armoured cars from the academy attacked the city, that drove the people to try to attack the Academy to prevent them from attacking the city and we lost too many lives. People were going in with knives, with sticks, with spearguns. Then we finally gave up because nothing that we had would work against the 14.5 mm. So we finally gave up and started mortaring the Air Force Academy. And by the 6th of March they attacked us very hard and they went all the way inside the city. But they were so careless, so cocky that they got close enough to be hit by mortar, by molotov cocktails, spearguns actually. We managed to kill them and we got so many guns from that day, I would say so many, by so many I mean, like, a hundred or so. From that day on, all the guns we have, we get them from the Gaddafi forces.
This video shows the aftermath of the battle

If what Dr Tameem says is true this major tactical blunder could have done more to help the Misratans than anything else at this stage of the conflict.  Capturing this large number of weapons allowed the Misratan rebels to capture even more weapons and defend themselves from further attacks by Gaddafi forces, and laid the groundwork for their eventual victory in the Siege of Misrata.

Tim Hetherington

Tim Hetherington was a British-American photojournalist best known for his work on the film Restrepo who was killed along with Chris Hondros in a mortar attack on April 20th 2011.  Dr Tameem was in the ambulance that picked up Tim Hetherington and drove him to the hospital:

DT I was hanging with this English journalist called Paul, from the Sunday Times, Sunday News, I don't know.  He was the one we had taken along on most of our rides, but Tim, first time I've seen him. Sad to say he was injured and he was on the floor (inaudible) I can believe they were very brave.

KD When you were driving Tim back did he say anything?

DT No no, he was asleep, he was very much hurt, he had shrapnels all over.  I'm not sure he's Tim, but he's the guy with the injuries to the chest.  He's Tim, yeah?

KD Think so, Chris Hondros was the one with the abdominal injuries

DT Yeah, the guy with the injuries was him.  We didn't have CELOX at the time, we didn't have chest needles, the ones you brought us, you brought with you.

KD Sorry I only brought the two

DT We didn't have a field hospital, because the (inaudible) was inside the city, so all we could do was make the air pressure, put a cannula in, hoping to remove some air from his (inaudible) space, for him to breath.


There's no way to intubate him, because as you can see this is considered a very smooth road... (inaudible)

We managed to bring him back alive, to hospital, and he died on the operating table.

KD I'm sorry to ask about all that stuff, but it's important to some people.

DT I don't mind.  I'm afraid to say after seeing the first child burning nothing else kind of like…

KD You saw him burning?

DT Yeah, I’ve seen him burning, it was in (Brasa Marq?) 24th Feb.

“Killdozer” June 9th

This series of videos filmed near the aid station on the Dafniyah-Misrata frontline shows Kevin Dawes exploring the interior of a heavily armoured Caterpillar bulldozer that would later be deployed in Sirte during the final days of the conflict. 

Kevin Dawes is given the full guided tour of the interior of the vehicle, and is shown various features, including remote camera, night vision periscope taken from a destroyed tank, and firing portholes to prevent the vehicle from being flanked.  The armour is concrete sandwiched between inch thick steel.  As far as I am aware this is the only video footage of the interior of the vehicle that is available online.

Unsecured MANPADS

This video is one of a number of videos filmed by Kevin Dawes that shows unsecured ammo dumps on the outskirts of Sirte.  This video shows a large number of MANPADS (Man-portable air-defense systems).

It’s important to note that these systems lack the required components to effectively target aircraft. 

Modified SA-7 MANPADS launcher

As the previous video shows unsecured ammo dumps were a major issue in the conflict, with unsecured MANPADS launchers potentially threatening security across the region.  This video shows a SA-7 launcher with some interesting modifications.

This launcher is missing the battery power supply required to launch it’s standard payload, and it’s usual grip stock.  Instead it has a wooden fore grip and shoulder rest.  Protruding from the rear is the rear end of a 57-millimeter air to ground missile usually fired from rocket pods.  These pods were widely welded to a variety of vehicles by the rebel forces, and used as a form of rocket artillery.  

From this video it appears at least one SA-7 launcher has been adapted into a DIY rocket launcher, one that’s possibly more of a threat to the user than it is his target.

SCUD missile outside Sirte

This video shows the location of a Scud missile located 25km southwest of Sirte City Centre

This is one of a number of SCUD missile found in and around Sirte, but what’s interesting about this missile is the location.  It appears to have been placed in a back road, under heavy tree cover, possibly to avoid detection by NATO aircraft.  The missile also appears to have been disabled, possibly during the retreat of Gaddafi forces.

The various intestines underneath the missile are likely to be from animals that were taken from local farms.

September 25th rebel advance into Sirte

On the day the rebel advance was reported by various news organisations,
Interim government forces set up new roadblocks and checkpoints and posted snipers at strategic locations on Sunday, a day after mounting a push that reportedly saw them enter the city from east and west and come within a mile of the centre.
This sequence of 4 videos shows the rebel advance from the west at ground level, and have been marked on the below map:

View videos and locations visited by Kevin Dawes in a larger map

In the first video you see Kevin Dawes and his group on the coastal road that runs out of Sirte city centre, approximately 500m to the west of the main roundabout into the built up urban area of Sirte.

In the following video it appears that rather than advancing to the east his group has used the access road about 200m to the west to reach the road that runs parallel to the costal road, and are advancing behind the main rebel forces into the Sirte urban area:

In this video his group pushes forward another 100m:

This video is filmed 200m west of the previous positions, as the rebel forces start to fall back under heavy fire:

In this video one of Kevin Dawes group explains the events of September 25th:

Fighting in Sirte City Center October 12th

View videos and locations visited by Kevin Dawes in a larger map

This video was filmed about half a kilometer away from the location Colonel Gaddafi was corned in during the final stages of the battle in Sirte.  The audio gives you a good sense of the intensity of the battle at this stage in the conflict.

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at

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