General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), leaves after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
Reuters: Exclusive: Russian private security firm says it had armed men in east Libya
A force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until last month in a part of Libya that is under the control of regional leader Khalifa Haftar, the head of the firm that hired the contractors told Reuters.
It is the clearest signal to date that Moscow is prepared to back up its public diplomatic support for Haftar -- even at the risk of alarming Western governments already irked at Russia's intervention in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad.
Haftar is opposed to a U.N.-backed government which Western states see as the best chance of restoring stability in Libya. But some Russian policy-makers see the Libyan as a strongman who can end the six years of anarchy that followed the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
Read more ....
Update #1: What is Russia’s thinking on Libya? (Vasily Kuznetsov, Al-Monitor)
Update #2: AFRICOM commander voices concern over Russian meddling in Libya (Military Times)
WNU Editor: Libya has been in chaos since the overthrow of Qaddafi .... and the U.N./Europe/U.S. have not been helpful in stabilising the situation. So it is not surprising that some of these militia leaders are looking elsewhere .... Russia's Position in the Med Prompts One More Arab Country to Seek Moscow's Help (Sputnik).