Libya, the United States: “Russia has deployed planes”


TRIPOLI – The US Defense Department confirms that according to its information Russia has transferred some fighter-bombers deployed in defense of the general’s militias to Libya Khalifa Haftar. It was the United States Africa Command (Usafricom or Africom, African Command of the United States) that issued a statement accusing Russia of continuing to supply weapons to the Haftar militias, helping to fuel the civil war.

The complaint confirms the revelations of the Tripoli Interior Minister Fathi Bishaga that last week had reported the arrival from Syria of six Russian MiG 29 fighters and two Sukhoi 24 fighter-bombers escorted “by two Sukhoi 35 of the Russian air force” to the Al Jufra base.

The US Africa Command statement now specifies, although not confirming its type, that the “fighters had arrived in Syria from an air base in Russia” and in Syria “their Russian origin has been disguised”. That is, the planes would have been repainted with the Syrian Air Force insignia.

According to the Americans, the planes “are likely to provide air support and attack fire to the Wagner Group that supports the Libyan National Army” (the LNA, of which Haftar is the commander), the statement said, citing in fact the Russian mercenaries reported to be in retreat from Tripoli to Su last weekend.

The US defense adds that “neither the LNA nor private military companies can operate and support these fighters without state support that they are having from Russia”. According to Africom, “Russia has employed Wagner, supported by the Russian state, to hide its direct role”.

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