Russia is trying to expand its influence in Libya, and the United States of America is watching this with "great concern." General Thomas Waldhauser, head of the Pentagon's Africa Command, commented on this during a press briefing that took place on March 24.
According to the General, Russian units are located in the border area between Egypt and Libya, and Moscow is trying to strengthen its influence through military means and arms sales.
General Waldhauser also called "undeniable “ the connection between Russia and the leader of one of the powerful Libyan armed groups, Khalifa Haftar.
"We obviously know that Haftar visited Russians. We also know Haftar was on board the carrier, Russian carrier while it was in the Med here a month or so ago. And we also know that Sarraj visited Russia here recently as well. And so it indicates — the things I would say is that in the Russian’s and Haftar I think that linkage is undeniable at this point in time. General Waldhauser said while answering a question about Russian presence in Libya.
Earlier in March, AFP and Reuters news agencies reported that Russia had deployed its troops at a base in western Egypt, about 100 kilometers from the border with Libya. Russia refuted these reports.
In Libya, after the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, a considerable number of forces have been trying to gain power. For the last two years, the US has sent Special Forces and military advisers to the country to fight the militants of the Islamic State.