Last updated on November 29th, 2019
With the Libyan Civil War ravaging across Libya from the past five years, it has become crucial for international organizations to intervene and call for peace in the region. However, the presence of foreign forces is making it difficult to maintain peace and stability.
In an attempt to achieve the aim, a state department official elaborated about the possibilities of worsening both economic and civil crisis in Libya.
David Schenker, the State Department’s assistant secretary for near eastern affairs, in a press release on Tuesday, said that the Russian armed forces are deployed in large numbers to aid Gen. Khalifa Haftar. Haftar is the leader of the Libyan National Army, a unit of Libyan armed forces, who commenced the attack on the UN-backed Government of National Accord to capture Tripoli.
Schenker, speaking about the involvement of the Russian troops in the Libyan Civil War, said, “Russian regulars are being deployed in significant numbers to support the LNA.” He even termed the presence of Russian forces as “incredibly destabilizing”.
He also speculated the possibilities of large-scale civilian casualties due to the involvement of Russian armed forces. The claims from Schenker came two days after a US delegation met with Haftar to end the ongoing Libyan crisis and just a day after it released the details of the meet with the leader of the Libyan National Army on Sunday.
The delegation comprised of the White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs, Victoria Coates, and senior representatives from the State Department, Energy Department, and the military.
There are possibilities that the US intervention in the five-year-long Libyan Civil War may be for providing aid to maintain peace in the MENA Region. However, the intervention might also be to take advantage of oil-rich Libya, which has seen a plunge in the GDP since the civil war commenced.
Apart from oil-based resources, the Libyan economy also depends upon other factors such as mining, hydrocarbon industries, agriculture, tourism, and trade.
The oil resources alone accounts for over half of GDP and 97% of exports. Therefore, it is not hard to consider the fact that if the US manages to pull up some negotiation to end the ongoing crisis, it may gain itself another ally with strong oil-reserves.
On the other hand, if Gen. Haftar manages to get hold of Tripoli with the aid of Russian armed forces, Kremlin may strengthen its power in the MENA region, challenging the US authority in the region and possibly gaining an upper hand over the US in the region.
Perhaps that is why the Russians stepped in to help the Syrian Kurdish fighters when US Troops withdrew from Syria.