Many reports referred to Russian attempts to military intervene in Libya in support of the army led by General Khalifa Haftar, who is aided by Egypt and some regional countries.
According to the Israeli intelligence website, Debka, if Russian attempts succeeded, Russia will establish the second military air base in the Mediterranean, about 700 Km off Libya”.
Debka also said that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is preparing to establish a naval air base off Benghazi coast, like Hmeimim base close to Latakia, in exchange for naval and air support to Haftar”.
Debka described Haftar as a Libyan military militia leader that supported by Egypt and some Gulf countries. Egyptian and Emirati air forces provide Haftar with air support from Egyptian bases across western desert. Haftar doesn’t recognize the Libyan government forged by the United Nations located in Tripoli.
It also added that some elements in Egypt and the Gulf prompted Haftar to request the Russian support, he arrived in Moscow, on Sunday, to discuss the military support that Russia can provide him. It is the second time Haftar travels to Moscow in six months, following the previous visit in June, as he met Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, then the Russians were not ready to provide overt military support to the Libyan general.
Debka clarified that after the election of Donald Trump, the US president, and with speculations about American – Russian cooperation in the war Daesh in Syria, Putin said he is willing to expand such cooperation to Libya. The Israeli website reported that Russia is offering Haftar armaments of fighting jets, armored vehicles, and missiles.
According to the Russian proposal, the Russian planes will arrive directly to Libya from the Syrian Hmeimim, or from Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov that stationed now eastern of the Mediterranean. The aircraft carrier can sail from Syria to the center of Mediterranean and reposition off Benghazi. If such plan were executed, it would be the first time a Russian aircraft work in that part of the Mediterranean.