US: Moscow deployed forces to Egypt
The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed yesterday it did not have special forces in Egypt after a US official and Egyptian diplomatic sources told Reuters Moscow appeared to have deployed forces to an Egyptian airbase, according to the Interfax news agency.
US and diplomatic officials stated that the apparent Russian deployment might have been part of its increasing support for Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, who also has the backing of Egypt.
One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Russia apparently deployed special forces to an air base at Sid Barrani, located about 100 kilometres east of the Libyan border. The official also said the American military is monitoring the situation closely. Another anonymous diplomat, confirmed reports that Russian forces are now at a western Egypt army “facility”.
This is not the first time such leaks from anonymous sources in the Western media have excited the public.
However the Russians are adamant there was no such deployment.
“There are no Russian special forces units in Sidi Barrani,” Igor Konashenkov, the defence ministry’s spokesman, was quoted by Interax as saying in a statement. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had “no information” on any Russian troops being sent to Egypt, and has also denied Moscow had interest in deepening its activity in Libya.