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How this rising power is cementing itself as an immovable pillar in Libyan territory
 
10/20/2020
 

Russia Expands Its Presence in Libya

How this rising power is cementing itself as an immovable pillar in Libyan territory

BY WARREN REINSCH

The United States military on Tuesday accused Russia of delivering "repainted" stealth fighter jets to Libya in support of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces. The U.S. Africa Command statement said the "Russian military aircraft are likely to provide close air support and offensive fire" in an effort to once again give Haftar the upper hand against the Government of National Accord. In doing so, Russia is cementing itself as an immovable pillar in Libya.

The U.S. Africa Command claimed that the jets came from a Russian air base before briefly stopping in Syria where they were repainted to "camouflage" their Russian origin. Russian officials dismissed the claim as "fake" news. The country has long denied involvement in Libya.

U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said, "Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya," describing the newly arrived planes as Russia’s "fourth-generation jet fighters." Haftar’s forces would not be able to "arm, operate, and sustain these [jet] fighters" without support from Russia, according to the U.S.

 
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