On May 3, Israel’s ImageSat International released satellite images showing increasing activities in the al-Jufrah Air Base in central Libya, where Russian warplanes were allegedly deployed.
A single Mig-29 can be seen in the images, parked near a hardened aircraft shelter (HAS). A number of Mig-29s and Su-24s arrived in al-Jufrah and in al-Khadim Air Base, in the country’s eastern region, earlier this month.
According to the #US#Africa Command, the military hardware is to support Russian state-sponsored private military contractors (PMCs) operating on the ground in Libya. #Turkey#UAE#Egyptpic.twitter.com/ExmHhsT1oj
— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) May 27, 2020
ImageSat’s images also revealed that a new radar station was installed in al-Jufrah. Several Mil-8 and Mi-24 helicopters can be also spotted in the images.
The U.S. Africa Command also released images of Mig-29s warplanes in al-Jufrah. The command claimed that 14 Mig-29s and Su-24s are currently deployed in Libya.
They are flown by Russian military members & escorted by Russian fighters based in Syria to Libya, landing in Eastern Libya near Tobruk for fuel. At least 14 newly unmarked Russian aircraft are then delivered to Al Jufra Air Base in Libya. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/bB9g66pVUc
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) May 27, 2020
The al-Jufrah Air Base is a stronghold of the Libyan National Army (LNA). The base, which is protected by a U.S.-made Hawk air-defense system, is reportedly hosting troops from the UAE. Abu Dhabi is one of the LNA’s main backers and a close ally of Washington.
The U.S. is promoting that Russia is about to intervene in Libya to support the LNA against the Government of National Accord (GNA). Nevertheless, the alleged deployment of Russian warplanes is not a crucial evidence.
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