US Says Russia Wants Assad to Send Militias to Libya to Help Hafter

State Dept official denies US support for Hafter forces

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs has accused Russia of working with the Assad government to try to get Syrian militias into Libya to work with Gen. Khalifa Hafter’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA).

Syria has been claimed, mostly by Turkey, of being in league with the LNA. This makes sense from Turkey’s perspective because they are working with the rival GNA faction in Libya, and sending Syrian rebels to help them fight.

The US official, Henry Wooster, said that the US “does not support LNA military action against Tripoli,” which is a position that the US has often been sort of vague on, praising Hafter at times and never showing much support for the GNA.

Russia has been more directly aligned with Hafter, as is most of the world. The GNA’s only major ally is Turkey, though the State Department comments suggest they may be roughly favoring them in control of Tripoli, at the very least to the extent they can accuse the other side, ironically run by a former CIA asset in Hafter, of being in league with Russia.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of