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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Russian elite units land on Egypt-Libya border

Gen. Khalifa Haftar
The landing of Russian elite units armed with attack drones was detected on Tuesday, March 14 at the big Egyptian air base of Sidi Barrani in the Western Desert near the Libyan border, US military sources reported The incoming Russian troops took up position 95 km from the Libyan border and 240km from the eastern Libyan oil and gas terminals at Tobruk port in eastern Libya in the wake of a major defeat sustained by their Libyan ally.
Officials in Washington, Moscow and Cairo declined to comment on whether or not the Russians had acted in coordination the Trump administration.

On March 3,  Gen. Khalifa Hafter’s Libyan National Army (LNA) militia was attacked in the central region by, the rival Benghazi Defense Brigades and driven out of five towns, including the country’s biggest oil terminals at Ras Sidi and Ras Lanuf.

According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, the Russians an Egyptians appear to be preparing to support a counter-offensive by Hafter’s militia to recover the oil facilities.

For some months now, Moscow, Cairo and Qatar have been working together to bolster Gen. Haftar, who strongly challenges the UN-backed government of Tripoli. His LNA has taken delivery of Russian fighter jets and tanks, while the Egyptian air force has been bombing the mostly Islamist militias fighting him, some of them branches of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda.The landing of Russian elite units armed with attack drones was detected on Tuesday, March 14 at the big Egyptian air base of Sidi Barrani in the Western Desert near the Libyan border, US military sources reported The incoming Russian troops took up position 95 km from the Libyan border and 240km from the eastern Libyan oil and gas terminals at Tobruk port in eastern Libya, following a major setback sustained by their Libyan ally.

Officials in Washington, Moscow and Cairo declined to comment on whether or not the Russians had acted in coordination the Trump administration. READ MORE