Russian mercenaries supporting Haftar’s forces, The Telegraph says
300 Russian mercenaries from PMC Wagner are supporting the “rebel commander” Khalifa Haftar, reports RBCwith reference to The Telegraph. The British media outlet obtained this information from sources in the British government.
They are all deployed in Benghazi. The information that “many fighters of PMC Wagner went [to Libya]” was also confirmed by a source close to the joint Libyan-Russian oil and gas company.
The interlocutor of the publication from the British government said that employees of the PMC “are almost interchangeable with [employees] of the GRU (now the Main Directorate of the General Staff. – RBC).” “[In Libya] they are trying to guard the ports of Tobruk and Derna for the Russian fleet,” and also if the Libyan energy industry is seized , they “can control the flow of oil to southern Europe,” the Telegraph’s source added.
The self-styled army under the leadership of Haftar is getting hold of oil fields as part of a campaign that began in January, the newspaper informs.
The army of Haftar, in particular, reported in February about taking control over the largest oil field in Libya, Sharara.
PMC Wagner, as Telegraph continues, is associated with a Russian businessman, Yevgeny Prigozhin. In November last year, the Libyan Defense Ministry showed photographs in which Prigozhin was captured at a meeting with the Libyan delegation in the Russian Defense Ministry. As part of this visit, Haftar came to Moscow as well.
The meeting was also attended by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.