BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:00 P.M.) – Washington launched a new media and diplomatic campaign against Moscow and Damascus, accusing them of transporting fighters and equipment to Libya to support the forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in his conflict with the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
“We know for sure that the Russians are working with (Syrian President Bashar) Assad to transport fighters, perhaps from a third country, and perhaps from the Syrians, to Libya in addition to hardware,” U.S. Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, said during a conference call on Thursday.
He did not give any details or provide any evidence to corroborate these allegations.
“The battlefield in that country may become more complicated,” Jeffrey said, referring to a secret U.N. report on Wednesday that talked about the so-called “Wagner Russian Special Military Group” deploying about 1,200 personnel in Libya to reinforce the Libyan National Army.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlIn turn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Henry Worcester expressed Washington’s unease about the relations between Haftar and Assad, and he said during the same press conference: “Another very disturbing thing is … Haftar’s establishment of so-called diplomatic relations with the Assad regime.”
As for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Christopher Robinson, he claimed that “Russian activities in Libya weaken the political peace process in the country and enhance the pace of conflicts there”, and that Libya “has become the new station for Russia’s malicious efforts centered on narrow political and economic gains” .
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has previously described the allegations that “Russian mercenaries” are present in Libya as nothing more than rumors.