The Pentagon said that the combat aircraft that Russia sent to support retired Major General Khalifa Haftar were stationed at the Al-Jafra base (central). These data raised international concern, amid a French warning about the repetition of the Syrian scenario in Libya.

US Department of Defense spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the number of Russian aircraft was 14 fighter jets, a mixture of "Sukhoi 24" and "MiG-29".

Hoffman noted that Washington opposes any military attacks in the region, and has asked all parties - the Russians, the Turks, and others - to stop what they are doing there.

For his part, the US military said in a series of tweets that the fighter planes were led by members of the Russian army and accompanied by Russian fighter jets to Libya, noting that these planes had hidden their features.

Troops of retired Major General Khalifa Hifter (Reuters)

Confirmations and information

The Pentagon’s assurances follow the announcement by the US military command in Africa (AFRICOM) that Russian warplanes that arrived in Libya landed at the Al-Jafra air base and were refueled near Tobruk.

Major AFRICOM spokesman Major Carl West told Al-Jazeera correspondent that 14 MiGs were fueled near Tobruk, before arriving at Jafra.

He pointed out the possibility that these aircraft would provide air support to the Russian "Wagner" security group that provides support to the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Hifter.

The US military command in Africa has documented the deployment of Russia's warplanes in Libya, after being repainted for camouflage, to support Wagner mercenaries.

For his part, AFRICOM Commander General Stephen Townsend said that Russia is seeking to turn the balance in its favor in Libya, as it did in Syria.

The State Department has responded to these developments, saying that the destabilizing Russian activities in Libya are clearly visible, and that the international community and the Libyan people will not believe Russia's claim that their mercenaries have nothing to do with their agenda in Libya.

Haftar hired Russian mercenaries according to a number of reports and data (communication sites)

Denial and responses

Although Vladimir Dzabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of the Russian Federation denied these accusations, saying that they are baseless, and that they are an attempt to discredit Russia on the international stage, the reality is that the major countries tend to be correct to the accusations.

In international reactions, Berlin expressed its concern over what was reported in Washington, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that recent developments in Libya show that stability is achieved only by a ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table.

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said today, Wednesday, that the situation in Libya is very disturbing, warning that a Syrian scenario is repeated in this country.

"This crisis is getting more complicated ... We are facing a situation in which Libya is shifting to another Syria," Ludrian told a French Senate session.

An invitation to dialogue

Politically, Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum also expressed his country's willingness to host a Libyan dialogue in order to bring the Libyan parties together and bring their views closer.

In a message on the occasion of Africa Day, Bougadoum expressed Algeria's deep concern with developments in Libya in recent weeks, and regretted what he called the conflict of regional and international agendas regarding the neighboring country.

He added that the flow of weapons to Libya not only fueled the civil war, but also contributed to arming those he described as terrorist groups that have become a threat to the security of the region and hinder the path of a political settlement to this crisis, as he put it.

In this context, Tunisian Defense Minister Emad Al-Hazqi reaffirmed the necessity of finding a Libyan political solution to the conflict that mainly respects the Libyan people's will and interests.

In a statement issued today, Wednesday, after a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Florence Barley, Al-Hazqi stressed the principles of Tunisian policy based on upholding international legitimacy and rejecting all forms of foreign interference in Libya.

Al-Wefaq government forces achieved a number of military victories (Reuters)

Field developments

Regarding field developments, the Al-Wefaq government said it had taken control of new locations in the fighting axes of Ain Zara, south of Tripoli, and had also controlled observatories of Haftar forces in the Alcazarma axis.

According to these forces, the noose has tightened further on the forces of Haftar in the city of Tarhuna, as controlling them will mean that south of the capital Tripoli has become safe, while Haftar forces confirm that they are in a state of security alert in the city to repel any attack on them.

Earlier today, most of the Russian mercenaries who had been fighting with Haftar's forces withdrew towards central Libya through the city of Bani Walid, while forces of the Al-Wefaq government continued to advance south of Tripoli.

Hifter's forces continue to suffer heavy losses as a result of harsh strikes in the axes south of Tripoli and all the cities of the western coast, up to the border with Tunisia, in addition to the strategic "Al-Wattia" base (west), the towns of Badr and Tiji, and the city of Asaba in the western mountain (southwest of Tripoli).

With the support of Arab and European countries, Haftar's forces have launched a deadly assault since April 4, 2019, to take control of Tripoli, the internationally recognized seat of government, leaving civilians dead and injured, along with extensive material damage.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has informed the Security Council of the killing of 58 civilians and the wounding of at least 190 others, as a result of the fighting in Libya since the beginning of April and until May 18.