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U.S. Africa Command Releases New Photos Of ‘Russian’ Warplanes In Libya

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On June 18, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) released new photos of what it claimed to be “Russian” warplanes deployed in Libya.

The photos show a Su-24 attack aircraft and a Mig-29 fighter aircraft in the al-Jufra Air Base, in central Libya. The base is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA). Forces of the UAE, a key regional ally of the U.S, are reportedly present in the base.

The AFRICOM claims that 14 MiG-29s and several Su-24s were flown from Russia to Syria, then to the al-Jufra Air Base in Libya. The U.S. argues that Russia sent warplanes to Libya to provide air support for private military contractors (PMCs) fighting for the LNA.

“Russia’s sustained involvement in Libya increases the violence and delays a political solution,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Bradford Gering, USAFRICOM director of operations. “Russia continues to push for a strategic foothold on NATO’s southern flank and this is at the expense of innocent Libyan lives.”

Brig. Gen. Gering went on to claim that the “Russian” warplanes in al-Jufra are being flown by “inexperienced, non-state PMC mercenaries.”

The AFRICOM has been leading a media campaign accusing Russia of intervening in Libya for a few weeks. In spite of these claims, not a single “Russian airstrike” has been reported in Libya so far. No solid evidence proving that these warplanes belong to the Russian Aerospace Forces was presented by the AFRICOM.

While the U.S. is panicking over the supposed Russian intervention in Libya, it continues to turn a blind eye to Turkey’s incursion in the country’s war. In the past few months, Ankara deployed loads of weapons and 14,000 Syrian militants in Libya to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.

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