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English Section

Russian missile system secretly flown out of Libya by US: report

29.01.2021 14:00
A Russian air defence missile system captured in Libya was last summer secretly flown to a US air base in Germany, according to a report.
A Pantsir missile system seen during a military exercise near the southern Russia town of Astrakhan in August 2017.
A Pantsir missile system seen during a military exercise near the southern Russia town of Astrakhan in August 2017.Photo: EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

The covert mission was carried out amid concerns that the truck-mounted Pantsir S-1 missile system, which can easily bring down civilian aircraft, could fall into the hands of militias or arms smugglers in the war-torn north African country, Britain’s The Times reported on Thursday.

The newspaper said the operation last June involved sending a team on a US Air Force cargo plane to an airport west of the Libyan capital Tripoli in order to transport the battery to Ramstein Base in southwestern Germany.

The mission sheds further light on covert operations by the United States against the Russian presence in Libya, which has some of Africa’s largest oil reserves, The Times article added.

Mercenaries from a paramilitary organization called the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-linked group of private military contractors who carry out secret missions for Russia, are believed to have operated some of the air defence systems in Libya to support forces loyal to renegade military leader Khalifa Haftar, according to The Times.

(gs/pk)

Source: defence24.plthetimes.co.uk