Russia and Turkey employ thousands of Syrian mercenaries to fight in Libya

A military buildup in Libya now puts Syrian mercenaries on both sides of the war – with a faction that is using high-end Russian weapons against the US-backed government.
The US Africa Command recently confirmed that the Russian military contractor Wagner Group employed 2,000 Syrian mercenaries to enhance the position of the opposition powerful Khalifa Hafar, while NATO ally Turkey to fight on behalf of the Tripoli government More than 5,000 Syrian soldiers were recruited.
AFRICOM Deputy Director of Intelligence Rear Adam said, “We have seen offload since Russia’s capabilities and the eventual collapse of Russian troops. Heidi Berg told reporters on a media call from the command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
Since late 2019, Russia has denied any ties with the Wagner Group despite several links to Moscow, including more than a dozen fourth-generation MiG-29 fighters and SU-24 fighter jets to sneak into a desert in May. Has been moved to the airbase.
Berg said that Russia has made more than 338 deliveries of equipment, supplies, fuel, ammunition and weapons with Russian IL-76 transport cargo aircraft in the last nine months.
“We are estimating that the Wagoner Group is about 3,000 in Libya and sent 2,000 Syrian mercenaries, whom they recruited to Syria and brought to Libya.” “Clearly, they are working to promote Moscow goals and objectives, and it is very likely that there will be a Russian military presence in Libya.”
Russian objectives on the southern Mediterranean are both political and economic, Berg explained, with lucrative oil contracts and opportunities for a favorable government.
“They see it as a potentially attractive source of raw materials and resources,” the intelligence official said.
The perch on NATO’s southern border would also be a valuable victory for Moscow.
“Whether it will only be military access or whether it will be a real military base is definitely something that Russia wants to achieve,” Berg said.
“Concern of miscerage”
In May, AFRICOM released imagery of Russian MiG-25 aircraft, which were flown into the al-Zufra airbase controlled by the opposition Libyan national army. Fighter jets first stayed in Syria, where signs of their identities were painted to conceal their Russian origins.
AFRICOM confirmed Washington Examiner That Russian military pilots are not in the cockpit. Lack of training can lead to two accidents (one on 28 June and one on Monday) and can result in haste.
“These fighters are engaged in combat activities. We have seen them doing ground attacks. “They are not there for training the Libyan National Army. They are not there only to support LNH. They are meant to conduct combat activities on behalf of their own national interests. ”
AFRICOM said the weapons include the Pantas SA-22 air defense system brought to Russia Libya, which Berg attributed to shooting the Italian MQ-9 and an American MQ-9 drone.
Berg denied earlier reports that more advanced S-300 or S-400 systems exist in Libya.
Berg said that the use of air defense systems and mercenary pilots are recipes for unintended consequences.
“This reflects an inability to operate these systems effectively and is able to control its air defense picture as well as effectively target and positively identify aircraft before firing,” he said. They said. “[That] Miscalls cause anxiety. ”
Wagner has also declared no-fly zones on international waters and international airspace, indicating a desire to share control of the region’s wider swaths.
In the increasingly complex camouflage warfare in North Africa, AFRICOM confirmed that other countries were building their support for the protest.
These include the US ally Egypt, which has surface ships off the west coast and is set to enter if its interests are threatened.
The United Arab Emirates, which has been of late celebrated by the United States for establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, is also acting contrary to American interests in Libya.
“We know this is not just financial support,” Berg said of Imrati’s support for the LNA. “Weapons, weapons as well as some direct air support that they provided.”
Meanwhile, NATO ally Turkey has rejected international pressure to stay out of the conflict on behalf of the Tripoli government.
Berg said that political deliberations for lasting peace continue, but military construction is still ongoing.
“It’s AFRICOM, and we always look forward to keeping quiet,” she said. “Major combatants appear to support and engage in peace negotiations or seek that political solution.”

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