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Ukraine DM: Haftar promises to send volunteers to support Russia

March 21, 2022 at 10:52 am

Libya’s eastern military chief Khalifa Haftar in the eastern city of Benghazi on 16 November 2021 [ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP via Getty Images]

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said that retired Major General Khalifa Haftar agreed, during his visit to Moscow, to send Libyan “volunteers” to Ukraine to participate “in combat in Russia’s ranks.”

The ministry revealed in a statement that the Russian mercenary company Wagner will transport mercenaries from Libya using planes owned by the Russian Air Force.

Military expert, Adel Abdel Kafi, said Haftar is paying Russian President Vladimir Putin back for his support during the battle for Tripoli “just as the head of the Syrian regime did, when he sent fighters to support Russia.”

In an exclusive interview with Arabi21, Abdel Kafi recalled Putin’s recent statement when he said that foreign and Arab volunteers are ready to fight alongside the Russian army in its war against Ukraine.

He noted that Wagner is making arrangements for the transfer of fighters to Ukraine, stressing that mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and Syria were being prepared to be sent to Ukraine, along with Libyan fighters.

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The Libyan expert pointed out that Russia supported Haftar with Wagner mercenaries and advanced weapons, including Pantsir anti-aircraft systems, MiG-29 and Sukhoi 24 aircraft, through which Haftar occupies important military bases, such as Al-Jafra base, Brak Al-Shati in the southern region and some locations in the centre of the country.

Wagner has been working in Libya since Haftar launched an attack to seize Tripoli on 4 April 2019. The operation ended in failure.

Wagner’s mercenaries control a number of military sites and bases in eastern Libya. All UN efforts and resolutions have failed to expel them from the country.