The base of the Russian private Wagner military force in Libya was attacked by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The Libyan government denies involvement.
According to AFP, the attacks on the Al-Kharruba airbase used by the Wagner group in eastern Libya occurred at dawn on June 30.
Libya’s army chief of staff, Mohamad al-Haddad, said the source of the attack was unknown and that the raid did not cause any casualties. He denied the authorities in Tripoli were involved in the attack.
“Our aircraft did not target any target in the East. The news of the incident seems to be aimed at inciting a new war between the Libyan brothers and drawing Libya into a regional conflict,” al-Haddad said.
The Libyan Defense Ministry also affirmed: “We are completely passive by this information. We respect the ceasefire signed in October 2020.” The agency referred to the ceasefire agreement with General Khalifa Haftar to end the offensive on the Libyan capital in the 2019-2020 period.
Libya has been ravaged by civil war since 2011 when Muammar Gaddafi’s government was overthrown.
Libya has two rival governments coexisting in parallel, including the Western interim government located in Tripoli, the other in the east led by General Haftar.
Fighters from Wagner’s private armed forces and others from Chad, Sudan, Niger, and Syria are supporting General Haftar’s government.
Wagner forces have a large presence abroad. The group is believed to be active in at least eight African countries, providing combat services, protecting mining facilities, and ensuring the safety of senior officials. In return, Wagner is involved in protecting the diamond mines, and gold mining areas and can benefit from it.
After Wagner’s June 24 rebellion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wagner would continue to operate in Africa. However, in his latest comment on June 30, Lavrov emphasized that future contracts between Wagner and African countries are the matter of their governments.
Since last weekend’s riots, Wagner tycoon Yevgeny Prigozhin has not commented on the future of the private military, and he has largely disappeared from the public eye . Under the agreement with Russia, Prigozhin agreed to move to Belarus, but it is not clear whether Wagner will move its headquarters to the country.
The New York Times newspaper, citing satellite images of Planet Labs (USA) on June 26, said that Belarus is rapidly building some temporary works at an abandoned military base, believed to be for Wagner forces. stationed in this country.
A more than 32,300 square meter sports field in the converted fenced military facility is filled with at least six rows of what appear to be temporary structures, like large tents. Satellite images also show similar construction in vacant areas next to the sports field.
In another related development, independent news site Hajun reported that a field camp with a capacity of nearly 9,000 people has been built in Belarus. According to satellite images, this field barracks has about 300 tents. This is likely where Wagner will be stationed after the failed rebellion in Russia. However, the presence of military equipment in this area has not yet been recorded.
Flight tracking data shows that the plane linked to Wagner has gone back and forth between Russia and Belarus many times since the failed rebellion. However, both Russia and the West admit that they do not know the whereabouts of Mr. Prigozhin.
“We do not have reliable information to determine his whereabouts. The Pentagon says that part of Wagner’s force is still in Ukraine, but it is unclear how many and what mission,” the spokesman said. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on June 30 said.