Escalating to Libya, Russia transfers eight fighter jets


The Minister of the Interior of the Tripoli government, Fathi Bishaga, Confirmed that “at least eight Russian fighter jets have arrived in Libya from Syria”, landing in the airports controlled by the general Khalifa Haftar, probably in Tobruk. The news given by the minister had circulated last night on some websites: if it were confirmed independently it would be a very dangerous signal of the possible escalation of the “air war” that many analysts see possible in Libya.According to Bishaga The Russians allegedly moved six Mig 29s and two Sukhoi 24s from Syria, departing from the base of Hmeimim and escorted on the transfer flight by two Su-35 interceptors. It is even likely that on the transfer flight the planes may have landed at an Egyptian airport to avoid refueling in flight.



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And just this morning the command of the Haftar army announced that their air force will launch in the next few hours “the largest air campaign in the history of Libya”, or an attack on the positions of the government of Tripoli that in recent weeks, with the Turkey’s support has rejected Haftar’s forces in many areas of Tripolitania.Haftar, militarily supported by Russia, the Emirates and Egypt, has been besieging Tripoli since April 2019 to try to bring down the government of Fajez Serraj and take control of the capital. With hundreds of mercenaries, including Russian “Wagner” contractors, the general from Cyrenaica was on the verge of entering the city several times until Serraj made a military pact with Turkey in November. Since then, the government of Tripoli has been able to restrain the general and in recent weeks has rejected him, conquering the important air base of Watyia last Monday.



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The attacks by the Tripoli government were only possible thanks to the military support of Turkey: drones and anti-aircraft systems gave the air superiority in Tripolitania to Serraj’s army. For example, Turkish drones in the last few hours have destroyed at least nine Russian “Pantsir” anti-aircraft systems, a sophisticated self-propelled vehicle equipped with radar, missiles and anti-aircraft artillery that the Emirates had provided to Haftar to protect its bases.

With his announcement, Haftar’s head of aeronautics, Saqr al-Jaroushi, says now that “all Turkish positions and their interests in all cities will be our legitimate target, we urge civilians to stay away from these targets.”

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