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Wed Nov 6, 2019, 10:40 PM

Moscow Muscles Into Libyan War

The snipers are among about 200 Russian fighters who have arrived in Libya in the last six weeks, part of a broad campaign by the Kremlin to reassert its influence across the Middle East and Africa.

After four years of behind-the-scenes financial and tactical support for a would-be Libyan strongman, Russia is now pushing far more directly to shape the outcome of Libya’s messy civil war. It has introduced advanced Sukhoi jets, coordinated missile strikes, and precision-guided artillery, as well as the snipers — the same playbook that made Moscow a kingmaker in the Syrian civil war.

The Russians have intervened on behalf of the militia leader Khalifa Hifter, who is based in eastern Libya and is also backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and, at times, France. His backers have embraced him as their best hope to check the influence of political Islam, crack down on militants and restore an authoritarian order.

Mr. Hifter has been at war for more than five years with a coalition of militias from western Libya who back the authorities in Tripoli. The Tripoli government was set up by the United Nations in 2015 and is officially supported by the United States and other Western powers. But in practical terms, Turkey is its only patron.

Russia had previously stayed in the background while the United Arab Emirates and Egypt took the leading roles in military support for Mr. Hifter. But by September, his assault on Tripoli seemed to have stalled and Russia apparently saw an opportunity.

Control of the central bank and the oil revenue has made Tripoli the war’s grand prize.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/world/middleeast/russia-libya-mercenaries.html

Mr. Hifter, 75, was a former army general under Colonel el-Qaddafi who defected and lived in Northern Virginia as a C.I.A. client for more than a decade. Returning to Libya in 2011, he sought but failed to win a leading role in the uprising.

Last November, Mr. Hifter was filmed at a table in Moscow with both the Russian defense minister and the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the close ally of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Mr. Prigozhin is under indictment in the United States for involvement in the internet “troll farm” that sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Even though it officially supports the United Nations-recognized government, the United States has largely disengaged and President Trump has appeared to endorse Mr. Hifter. Mr. Trump called Mr. Hifter a few days after he began his assault on Tripoli to applaud his “role in fighting against terrorism.”

Now Mr. Hifter’s forces are conducting airstrikes against militias from western Libya that had previously worked closely with American military forces to expel a branch of the Islamic State from its stronghold in the city of Surt.

https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/national_world/russian-ghters-shift-balance-of-libyan-proxy-war/article_0dd40f50-f17c-5316-9783-e52469c66d92.html

More than three times the size of Texas, Libya controls vast oil reserves, pumping out 1.3 million barrels a day despite the present conflict.

All about the oil. It's always been about the oil.

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Reply Moscow Muscles Into Libyan War (Original post)
uncledad Wednesday OP
Da Mannn Wednesday #1
oldenuff35 Wednesday #2
batcat Wednesday #3
uncledad Thursday #4

Response to uncledad (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 10:52 PM

1. Hmmmm. Who will RC root for? The terrorists or Russia?

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Response to uncledad (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 10:54 PM

2. Russia is on the right side of this one. Let them kick some ass and clean up that mess.

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Response to uncledad (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 11:29 PM

3. The Libyan War might be called Hillary's War. ...

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Response to batcat (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 07:56 AM

4. For sure.

She did take credit for that one. Like everything that comes out of neocon camp, it's bipartisan when money and oil are the topic.

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