Is Russia Ready for Another War? Libya and Yemen Leaders Ask for Vladimir Putin's Help
Russia is apparently filling a vacuum: the U.S. has effectively abandoned its efforts from Syria, which some analysts viewed as a pivot to Libya. by figures with ties to the former Qaddafi regime) claimed victory, but Islamists. Russia's devastating Kalibr anti-ship missiles and state of the art S air Vladimir Putin is treating Libya as the new Syria wants to seize the. Coming on the heels of the Russian military intervention in Syria, Moscow's role in Libya's civil war may seem, at first glance, like déjà vu.
The General National Congress was elected in as a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution, but it effectively functioned as a parliament. Armed clashes and pressure on voters marred the June elections for the House of Representatives. In many areas, voting stations were never even opened. Proponents of a secular state largely represented by figures with ties to the former Qaddafi regime claimed victory, but Islamists from the General National Congress rejected the election results and refused to disband.
Is Libya Putin's 'New Syria'?
The House of Representatives set up operations in the city of Tobruk, a port city on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast. A veteran of the Libyan Army, Haftar served under Qaddafi.
In the late s, he was captured in the conflict with Chad, fled to the United States, and then joined the opposition against Qaddafi. Today, Sarraj's is the only legitimate government recognized by United Nations members, including Russia, but Field Marshal Haftar and several deputies in the House of Representatives rejected the settlement. Western experts believe that Moscow is secretly supporting Haftar and his insurgents. In andHaftar visited Moscow three times, reportedly to ask for Russian military aid.
At least until recently, Moscow seemed to be applying the lessons learned in Syria to its actions in Libya, experts say.
Libya–Russia relations - Wikipedia
Who supports the West? Unlike the Western consensus in Syria, where Europe and the U. When Qaddafi was deposed inWestern nations lost a common enemy. The Europeans are concerned primarily with reducing immigration from Libya.
Russia is suspected of deploying troops to Libya, but what's Moscow's play in this muddy conflict?
In Marchthere were an estimatedinternally displaced people andmigrants from other African countries residing in Libya whose total population is just seven million people. Toggle display of website navigation Argument: September 14, With opposing forces fighting for control of the war-torn country — the main two being the U. For Western observers, the growing involvement of Russia, a major ally of LNA commander Khalifa Haftar, represents a particular concern.
And given the similarities between Haftar and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, some degree of anxiety is understandable. Like Assad, who has long appealed to foreign governments by referring to Syrian rebels as terrorists, Haftar often frames himself as a bulwark against violent extremism in Libya, where the Islamic State remains active and Islamists have formed powerful militias and entered mainstream politics.
To be sure, Russia has invested in Haftar. It has received him in Moscow like a foreign leader already in office, arranging meetings with high-ranking ministers as well as security officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.
Of course, material assistance counts for more than photo opportunities and kind words. And here, too, the Kremlin has delivered: In accordance with a U. But it could send weapons through Egypt, a pro-Haftar neighbor that borders the Haftar-held parts of eastern Libya and is said to have hosted Russian special forces. Russia expects to gain three things from its support of Haftar. InQaddafi broached the subject of Russian naval bases in Libya.
Although none were ultimately leased, Russian officials have resurrected the idea, discussing with Haftar the possibility of opening a base near Benghazi. Finally, Russia seeks the political dividends of being able to settle regional crises. To that end, it would be an enormous gamble if Russia relied exclusively on Haftar, whose ability to consolidate his control over the entire country is still very much in doubt.