Libya, US alarm for the Russian role “Let’s deploy a brigade in Tunisia”


DAY AFTER DAY the United States raises the alarm level on the Russian presence in Libya. Today it’s up to an Africancom general, the Pentagon’s military command for Africa, to issue a warning about Russia’s expansion: “The arrival of Russian warplanes in Libya may not affect the stalemate of the ongoing civil war, but it could help Russia secure a geostrategic stronghold in North Africa, “says General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence for the US Command for Africa (Africom). “Supporting the Libyan National Army (LNA) and commander Khalifa Haftar means not so much to win the war as to develop strongholds,” Hadfield said. “If Russia secures a permanent position in Libya or, worse, employs its long-range missile systems, there could be a game changer in Europe, NATO and many western countries.”

After months of passivity, the American commands have therefore decided to react: last week Africom denounced the deployment and published photos of the Russian fighters transferred from Syria to Libya. Last night the command announced that Washington plans to send an “assistance brigade” to Tunisia in response to Russian activity in Libya. After an interview between Africom commander General Stephen Townsend and Tunisian Defense Minister Imed Hazgui, the American official said that “while Russia continues to blow on the fire of the Libyan conflict, regional security in North Africa is a growing concern, we are looking for new ways to address common security problems with Tunisia, including the use of our security force assistance brigade. ”
Townsend’s command revealed that in the last few days the Russian fighter jets transferred to the Jufra base in southern Libya have risen to 14: they are Mig 29 and Su 24, aircraft that have been repainted with the Syrian Air Force insignia, but operated by Russian technicians and pilots, the only ones who have the technical skills and the logistical apparatus capable of managing a squadron of technologically advanced planes in the center of the Libyan desert.There is another front on which the United States has committed itself in recent days, that of the supply of millions of counterfeit banknotes from Russia to the administration of General Haftar in eastern Libya. Last Tuesday, the customs of Malta seized an entire container loaded with fake banknotes: 1.1 billion Libyan dinars, equal to about 700 million euros, had been printed in Moscow by the state-owned company Goznak and were intended for an entity controlled by the General Haftar.

The operation was undoubtedly carried out by the Malta police on US intelligence information. The US embassy for Libya writes that “the Tripoli-based central bank of Libya is Libya’s only legitimate central bank. This incident once again highlights the need for Russia to cease its malignant and destabilizing actions in Libya. “

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