8 – 14 April: Russia sending Syrian fighters to Libya

Apr 15, 2020 | International actors

On 13 April, photos circulated online purportedly showing fighters from the Syrian towns of Jaba, Mamtinah, and Mashara on route to Libya to fight for the Libyan National Army (LNA). It has been alleged that as many as 350 formerly anti-Assad fighters from Quneitra province in south western Syria are also on their way to fight for the LNA. It has been claimed that Russian Private Military Contractor (PMC), the Wagner Group, had been training the forces at the Assad regime’s 18th Camp, east of Homs province.

On 13 April, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement denying that any forces from its country were participating in the clashes in southern Tripoli or within Libya more broadly. The statement said that Sudan maintains the position that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya and that dialogue and consensus are needed by the two competing forces.  The ministry noted the UN report from January this year, saying that it did not detail any evidence to suggest that Sudanese forces were fighting in Libya. This comes amid several photos circulating online claiming that Sudanese forces belonging to the Darfuri Sudan Liberation Army Minni Minnawi faction (SLA/MM) were killed on the Abu Grein axis amongst LNA forces during the course of the last week.