The issue of Russian mercenaries supporting Hifter returns to the forefront in Libya, and this time the confirmation of their presence came from the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salama, who expressed his concerns about the Russian support provided to Hifter in his war on Tripoli.
Salama’s statements to the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera” embarrassed Moscow, which has long denied any presence in Libya, and claimed that it stands at the same distance from everyone.
Salama concern of the Russians
Ghassan Salama, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Libya, expressed his concern about Russian support for Hifter in his aggression against the capital, Tripoli.
Salama made it clear during the interview that he feared a “bloodbath” and mass exodus, if the fighting moved to populated areas in Tripoli.
Salama’s statements were preceded by accusations by the Minister of Interior, Fathi Pashaga accused Russia of fueling the conflict in the country and seeking to restore power to the remnants of Muammar’s regime.
The commander of the joint operations room, Major General Osama Jwaili, said last September that countries supporting Hifter had begun resorting to the services of companies, some of them from Russia, to recruit mercenaries to fight with the Libyan General.
The Libyan army forces found belongings to Russian mercenaries fighting in Hifter’s ranks, and confirmed the targeting of their gatherings and locations in areas south of Tripoli, which resulted in the death and injury of dozens of them.
US condemns Russian intervention
For its part, the United States warned against Russia’s attempt to exploit the struggle against the will of the Libyan people, and the US State Department said on November 15, “It is concerned that Russia will use the conflict at the expense of the Libyan people.”
The commander of US forces in Africa, Thomas, told the US Congress that they should limit Russia’s intervention in Libya, which Moscow is working to increase.
The statements of American officials come after the reports of the American media reports, such as “Washington Post”, “New York Times” and “Bloomberg”, which stated the increasing participation of Russian company “Wagner” mercenaries in the fighting south of Tripoli.
Russian and UAE newspapers confirm
The Russian investigation site “Medusa” revealed that about 35 Russians were killed when GNA forces targeted their positions in the Libyan West.
And the UAE channel, Alaan, broadcasted an exclusive clip of a fighter called Igor Kulikov, who belongs to the Russian “Wagner” group after returning to his country after an injury he suffered south of Tripoli.
“Kulikov” confirmed during the video posted on the channel’s website, that the “Wagner” mercenaries are in Benghazi and Tripoli, stressing that it is a commercial company working for money, which is the reason that prompted him to join it.
Almesmari admits the presence of the Russians
Hifter’s spokesman, Ahmed Al-Mesmari, said that there are Russian soldiers who are participating with their forces in the aggression against Tripoli.
Al-Mesmari said in statements to the channel, “Libya HD”, which is affiliated to Aref Anayed in November, that there are one or two Russian military crews with a technical mission, and they were brought in for the purpose of maintaining only military equipment and machinery, he said.
But the question that remained after all this evidence that leaves no doubt about the Russian presence supporting Hifter , Why the UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salama did not condemn this intervention, which is prohibited by all United Nations laws?