Africa

Libya: Clearing Russian mercenaries becomes compulsory

Sirte, al-Jufra has become dangerous place due to criminal provisions, Russian mercenaries, says army spokesman

Gulsen Topcu   | 28.06.2020
Libya: Clearing Russian mercenaries becomes compulsory

TRIPOLI 

Clearing Sirte and al-Jufra of Russian mercenaries have become compulsory, according to a Libyan army spokesperson Saturday.

Mohammed Qanunu said Sirte, a focal point of criminal provisions and Russian mercenaries who were defeated in Tripoli and Tarhuna, has become the most dangerous place for Libya's peace and security, according to a statement issued by the press office of the Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation.

Qanunu said the Wagner mercenaries turned the Jufra base and airport into a command center to take control of southern oil fields.

“We are determined to save these cities by making peace or with using weapon power,” he added.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suggested last week that Cairo could launch "external military missions" into Libya "if required," saying that "any direct intervention in Libya has already become legitimate internationally."

Al-Sisi said the Sirte and al-Jufra airbases are a "red line," calling on his army to "be prepared to carry out any mission here within our borders, or if necessary outside our borders."

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority as Tripoli battles militias of eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The government launched Operation Peace Storm against Haftar in March to counter attacks on Tripoli, and recently liberated strategic locations, including Tarhuna, Haftar's final stronghold in western Libya.

It severely condemned military backing by Egypt, the UAE, France and Russia for Haftar's attacks on Tripoli, which began April 4, 2019.

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