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Russia Deepens Its Commitment to Libya’s War -- and Political Future

MIN READJun 1, 2020 | 10:00 GMT

A satellite image shows the arrival of Russian fighter jets at an air base controlled by Khalifa Hifter's rebel army. The image was taken on May 19, 2020 -- the same day Hifter announced plans to unleash a new air campaign against the Libyan government. 

(U.S. Africa Command/DVIDS)

Russia's deepening support for the Libyan National Army (LNA) proves the Kremlin views LNA leader Khalifa Hifter as crucial to its greater North African and Mediterranean strategy, and could grant Moscow the upper hand in shaping the war-torn country's political future. The U.S. military, among others, recently released photos confirming the arrival of a fleet of Russian fighter jets at two LNA-controlled air bases in Libya. The deployment will make it more difficult for the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) to make further military gains beyond Tripolitania. But perhaps most importantly, Russia's growing involvement in Libya's civil war -- alongside Turkey's continued support for the GNA -- will leave Moscow and Ankara at the helm of any potential negotiations between Eastern and Western Libya, much to the dismay of those in Europe and the United States. ...

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