On Friday, July 24, the US military Africa Command (AFRICOM), released new satellite images that show Russian presence in the North African country of Libya. This is coming off the back of Kremlin denying involvement in Libya.
A statement released by AFRICOM mentions that “U.S. Africa Command has mounting evidence that Russia, through the Wagner Group, continues to position military equipment in Libya capable of conducting kinetic operations there”. The Wagner Group is a Russian paramilitary company that represents Russian interests in ongoing conflicts across the world and has been accused of Syrian and Libyan involvement.
Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, AFRICOM deputy director of intelligence mentions that “Imagery reflects the broad scope of Russian involvement… They continue to look to attempt to gain a foothold in Libya.”
Based on the satellite images released by Africom, it is clear that Russian military equipment is present in the coastal city of Sirte and the Al-Khadim Airfield.
In particular, the image at the Al-Khadim Airfield shows the presence of Russian Su-24 jets and the IL-76 heavy transport aircraft.
“The type and volume of equipment demonstrates an intent toward sustained offensive combat action capabilities, not humanitarian relief, and indicates the Russian Ministry of Defense is supporting these operations”.