Libya: more Mig planes to General Haftar to fight drones?
New fighter group from Russia to Syria. Transit and then go to Libya?
With a curt release of a few lines, the embassy of the Russian Federation in Damascus announced that Moscow has transferred "a second group" of Mig-29 fighter jets to Syria "under the defense cooperation agreements", but fear of the intelligence services of many western countries is that the aircraft are only in transit in Syria to reach the Federation's Air Forces that have already been sent to Libya (see AVIONEWS). Observers in the Tripoli area have sent alarming messages on social networks, writing that "we are about to see the start of the largest air campaign that Haftar has ever planned".
Russian aircraft are housed -AVIONEWS reports it- in the Al-Jufrah air base, a Libyan airport with a runway of about 4 km. Curious to say the base was built by the Italians in 1930 and was home of the 12th Mixed Squadron of the Regia Aeronautica. More recently, as part of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, the base was bombed on March 24, 2011 by a French aircraft, in accordance with the United Nations-backed application of the "No-fly zone" on Libya. Over two and a half months later, on June 13, the area was again hit by NATO forces.
According to sources close to the Pentagon, Moscow has recently sent at least 14 of Mig-29 and Su-24 to Libya to which new fighters could be added among those arriving at the Syrian base of Hmeimim.
For the United States Africa Command (Usafricom or Africom), formally active since October 2008, the Russian planes had been repainted at the base of Hmeimim to disguise its identity.
At the end of May, a ceremony for the arrival of the first fighter group had taken place at the Russian base in Syria in Hmeimim, as reported by the official Syrian news agency "Sana". It is probable, US sources write it, that the aircraft are given a different color in Syria and then sent to Al-Jufrah where they could be hospitalized in old bunkers damaged by attacks in previous conflicts and recently reactivated.
All updates -AVIONEWS writes it- which seem to imply Haftar's willingness to defend its forces from attacks with drones of Turkish origin that have allowed in the past to stop the assaults by the general.
In fact, the drones, used both for reconnaissance and for suicide bombers, are playing a fundamental role in the war in Libya in both sides, and the arrival of Russian fighters could radically change the situation giving back to Haftar the possibility of acquiring partial control airspace at least in areas of military interest.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency