US General: Russia is trying to expand its influence in Libya

Russia is trying to expand its influence in Libya through a combination of military means and oil and weapons sales, a top US general said Friday.
General Thomas Tom Waldhauser, who heads the US military’s Africa Command, said Russia is “on the ground” in the border region between Egypt and Libya.
“They are trying to influence the action, we watch what they do with great concern,” Waldhauser told Pentagon reporters.
“In addition to the military side of this, we’ve seen some recent activity in business ventures – whether it’s oil, whether it’s weapon sales that perhaps were stopped when the (Muammar) Gaddafi regime took place.”
Following the ouster and killing of Gaddafi in 2011, an array of rivals has been vying for control of Libya.
The Government of National Accord currently is supported by the United States and the United Nations, but a rival administration in the country’s far east has refused to cede power to the GNA.
That group is supported by strongman Khalifa Haftar, who has visited Russia, Waldhauser said.
“The Russians and Haftar, the linkage I think is undeniable at this point in time,” he said.

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