During the holiday period from 20 December through to 4 January, Osprey continued to support the aviation industry with comprehensive security intelligence analysis. In multiple cases, Osprey provided proactive “left of bang” alerting of potential conflict zone and/or conventional military activity that could pose a threat or hazard to aviation. Being able to understand the change in an aviation operating environment – country, airport and airspace – is at the core of what Osprey provides to its clients through its service. Please reference the notable examples below:
- North Korea: Osprey sent a Situation Update on 24 December via an alert titled “Remain prepared for additional weapons tests by North Korea in month ahead”. From 26-31 December North Korea then launched drones into South Korean airspace as well as conducting several ballistic missile launches into the Sea of Japan; Osprey issued four additional alerts on North Korea in the final days of 2022.
- Iran: On 29 December, Osprey issued an alert titled “Iranian IRGC military drills may involve multi-type/variant missile test launches through 30 December; NOTAMs issued for FIR Tehran (OIIX)”. Osprey then issued two follow-up alerts on 30-31 December when Iran conducted ballistic, cruise and air-defence missile launches in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz. The military drills took place in the lead-up to the three-year anniversary of the US drone strike on 2 January 2020 near Iraq’s Baghdad International Airport (ORBI/BGW) that killed the leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Unit (PMU) Kataib Hezbollah Iranian-backed militant group (IBMG) militia along with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) military commander.
- Iraq: On 30 December, Osprey issued an alert titled “Expect increased tensions surrounding three-year anniversary of US drone strike that killed Iraqi IBMG Kataib Hezbollah PMU militia leader & Iranian IRGC-QF commander”. Provocative acts by IBMGs in Iraq and eastern/northeast Syria were expected in the lead-up to and after the three-year anniversary of the 3 January 2020 US drone strike. Osprey issued multiple follow-up alerts warning of a commemorative rally by PMU supporters at Baghdad International Airport on 2-3 January and noting that additional demonstrations by IBMGs could occur in Baghdad – including near the Green Zone and/or Airport Road – through 10 January. In addition, Osprey sent a Situation Update via an alert on 4 January after a suspected IBMG reportedly conducted a rocket attack that targeted a US military base on Syrian-Iraqi border.
Osprey issued several alerts on conflict zone incidents in Russia/Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, DRC and Nigeria within the holiday period. Aviation security-focused alerts in this timeframe covered Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Kosovo, Spain and Belgium. Key social unrest and industrial action-related alerts were issued for Bolivia, Peru, France and Angola, while a COVID-19-centric alert discussed China, Macau and Hong Kong. Alerts on criminal activity covered Mexico, Paraguay, Vietnam, and Lebanon. Aviation safety-related alerts dealt with issues in the United States, Philippines and Australia. Only Osprey has the technology and expertise to cover the global aviation operating environment in this completely seamless way 24/7/365.