Russia deploys MiG-29s to Libya
US Africa Command (USAFRICOM) reported on 26 May that it believes Russian MiG-29 aircraft have been deployed to Libya in order to support private military companies (PMCs) on the ground.
The statement suggests that the aircraft left an airbase in Russia via Syria where they were then repainted to disguise their origins.
Aircraft such as MiG-29s are likely to support PMCs including the Wagner Group which is supporting the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) fight against the internationally recognised Government of National Accord. Wagner has also been reported to have had a role during political unrest in the Central African Republic over recent years.
US Army Gen Stephen Townsend, commander of USAFRICOM, said: ‘For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict. Well, there is no denying it now.’
‘We watched as Russia flew fourth-generation jet fighters to Libya – every step of the way. Neither the LNA nor PMCs can arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support – support they are getting from Russia,’ Townsend added.
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