Russian paramilitary group Wagner stationed in Libya for Haftar begins to retreat from Houn region, where Jufra is located.
The Russian Wagner group, actively working with Haftar in Libyan conflicts began withdrawing from some region of the city of Houn where the Jufra Air Base is located. Some claims point out that with the upcoming preparations made for Jufra and Sirte, this retreat is “tactical”. Wagner forces aren’t the only ones to retreat. As such, some reports allege that Haftar forces prepares to withdraw.
Haftar forces are losing strength each day and the Wagnar forces serving and assisting them are also evacuating alongside them. Previously, Wagnar forces were clearly spotted in some places such as Tripoli, Beni Velid and Tarhuna, and have now been detected in the city of Sawknah, south of Sirte.
Pointing out the fact that PMC Wagner previously trained renegade Khalifa Haftar’s forces in Benghazi and being actively in combat in various regions within Libya, such occurrences are happening less as the war goes on.
Wagner’s activities in Libya serves the same purpose as Russia – demand for access to rich natural gas and petrol sources in the Mediterranean Sea. That is why the Kremlin-funded Wagner Group uses very old Russian vehicles and weapon systems.
The UN-recognized GNA is dispatching military aid to the surrounding regions of Sirte. The announcements made by the GNA say that Jufra and Sirte are the red lines which will initiate a military response in case that Haftar and Wagner forces keep occupying the area. In return, Haftar has also responded to these statements by the GNA Libyan National Army spokesperson Mismari, on July 14th 2020 said that a conflict is brewing for the near future. Some other important issues Mismari highlighted are;
- Detection of GNA forces in Sirte and Jufra regions
- A potential battle in upcoming hours
- Only regional and foreign forces being present in the next war
Russia sent Pantsir-S1 aerial defense systems to Libya/Sirte
On July 12th 2020, some images on social media showed that Russian Wagner paramilitaries received Pantsir-S1 aerial defense systems to be deployed in the town of Sirte in Libya. The systems were concealed by using white paint coating. As such, they are the systems that were actively used in Syria. Syrian Pantsir-S1 aerial defense systems also feature a similar paint job for camouflage purposes.