As warring Libyan factions seek aid from Turkey and Egypt, AFRICOM is blaming Russia for landmines that were found near Tripoli in yet another alarmist intelligence assessment aimed at getting US troops sent back to Africa.
On Wednesday, AFRICOM posted four photos of booby-trapped debris found between Tripoli and Sirte last month, as the Libyan National Army (LNA) retreated before the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The landmines used to rig the explosives were “assessed to have been introduced into Libya by the Wagner Group,” a mercenary outfit AFRICOM insists is acting on behalf of the Russian government.
“Wagner Group’s reckless use of landmines and booby-traps are harming innocent civilians,” insisted AFRICOM’s intelligence director, Rear Admiral Heidi Berg. She claimed that “imagery and intelligence assessments” show Russia “continues to interfere in Libyan affairs.”
To bolster the claim of Russian meddling, AFRICOM referred to its May allegations – that Russia sent 14 MiG-29 fighters into Libya – as proven fact, rather than a triple-qualified assessment as stated at the time. Moscow has dismissed the claim as “not corresponding to reality.”