BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – The U.S. military’s Africa Command (Africom) released new satellite images on Friday, July 24th, of the Russian presence in Libya.
“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 Africom statement began.
According to Africom, these satellite images prove the presence of Russia’s Wagner Group, a private military company that has been accused of working of directly with Moscow in several countries, including Syria and Libya.
“Russia continues to play an unhelpful role in Libya by delivering supplies and equipment to the Wagner group,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, AFRICOM director of operations. “Imagery continues to unmask their consistent denials.”
“Imagery reflects the broad scope of Russian involvement,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, AFRICOM deputy director of intelligence. “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,” said Gering.
The Russian Federation has yet to comment on these claims by Africom.