The head of U.S. forces in Africa told reporters on Friday there was an “undeniable” link between Russia and powerful Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, underscoring U.S. concerns about Moscow’s deepening role in Libya.
Earlier this month Reuters reported that Russia appeared to have deployed special forces to an air base in western Egypt near the border with Libya.
Russia has denied the report.
When asked about the presences of Russian troops in Libya, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, said “there are Russians on the ground in the area,” adding that Russia’s attempts to influence Libya were concerning.
“They are on the ground, they are trying to influence the action, we watch what they do with great concern and you know in addition to the military side of this, we’ve seen some recent activity in business ventures,” Waldhauser said.
Reuters exclusively reported that the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani in Egypt, about 60 miles (100 km) from the Egypt-Libya border.
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