US: Russian mercenary pilots with Russian-supplied aircraft will bomb Libyans
WASHINGTON, (BM) – Russian fighter jets were delivered to the Libyan airfield to help the Libyan National Army, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing US Department of Defense statement.
“The Russian fighter aircraft arrived in Libya from an air base in Russia after transiting Syria, where Africom officials assess they were repainted to camouflage their Russian origin” the statement said.
According to the US military, the purpose of the appearance of Russian aircraft in Libya is “to help Russian-backed private mercenaries operating in Libyan territory.”
According to representatives of the US Armed Forces, pilots from Russia will be at the helm.
“The world heard Mr. Haftar declare he was about to unleash a new air campaign…That will be Russian mercenary pilots flying Russian-supplied aircraft to bomb Libyans” said Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, Africom’s commander.
”If Russia seizes basing on Libya’s coast, the next logical step is they deploy permanent long-range anti-access area-denial capabilities,” said Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. ”If that day comes, it will create very real security concerns on Europe’s southern flank.” Russia’s destabilizing actions in Libya also will exacerbate the regional instability that has driven the migration crisis affecting Europe, officials said.
Earlier in May, media reported that the LNA forces, after receiving eight military aircraft, announced the imminent start of the largest air operation in Libya.
Libyan civil war
In Libya, armed clashes are currently taking place between supporters of different leaders. The country is led by the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez Saraj, the “eastern government” led by Abdullah Abdurrahaman at-Thani.
The eastern government is supported by the commander of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.
Recall that January 13 in Moscow, negotiations were held between the heads of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalif Haftar and the Government of National Accord (GNA) Faiz Sarraj. Also present were members of the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkey.
On the meeting the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has notified Russia about the conditions for continuing negotiations on the signing of a peace agreement in Libya.
According to the requirements of Haftar, the militias operating in Libya are required to surrender weapons in the period from 45 to 90 days. This process should be controlled by a special commission created by the LNA together with the UN
Haftar also refused to recognize Turkey as an intermediary in resolving the situation in Libya, since the Turkish side is not neutral and supports the Government of National Accord (GNA).
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