World Bulletin / News Desk
Moscow has apparently deployed military forces to a base in western Egypt, a US official said Tuesday, a sign Russia could be increasing its involvement in nearby Libya.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Russia appears to have deployed special operations forces to an air base at Sid Barrani, which is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the Libyan border.
The official said the American military is monitoring the situation closely.
The move comes after forces of eastern Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar this month conceded the loss of a key oil export terminal they seized last year in ongoing fighting for the country's resource wealth.
The capture of Ras Lanuf and the other three eastern oil ports in September enabled Haftar to keep up his challenge to the authority of the UN-backed government in Tripoli and demand a major role in a replacement administration.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied special forces were in Sidi Barrani.
"There are no Russian special forces units in Sidi Barrani in Egypt," the ministry said in a statement.
"This is not the first time such leaks from anonymous sources in the Western media have excited the public."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had "no information" on any Russian troops being sent to Egypt, and he also denied Moscow had interest in deepening its activity in Libya.
Still, he added that Russia is interested in Libya's stabilization so the country "does not become a breeding ground for terrorist recruits."
Following the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, an array of rivals has been vying for control of Libya.
German chancellor rejects calls to put an end to Turkey’s EU membership process
The administration is split over what stance to adopt on the longest-running war in US history.
'Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls,' wrote Sarah Champion in article
It did not identify the target of the civil action, which coincides with criminal inquiries into suspected fraud underway in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The continent’s population displacement reaches record levels in 2017, says UN report
Incident increases concerns about flow of contraband in French prisons
Ibrahimjon Asparov stands accused of supplying firearms, ammunition to Istanbul nightclub attacker
The 63-year-old leader, in power for nearly 12 years, also said she hoped to appoint equal numbers of male and female ministers from her conservative party if she wins a fourth term, though she could not speak for possible coalition partners.
Terror group continues to target Iraqi forces – especially Shia Hashd al-Shaabi – in northern Saladin province
Death toll may rise further after suicide bombers target car parking lot in northeast Borno state
"The worst has been avoided," Tsipras said after flying over the disaster zone northeast of Athens by helicopter, adding that about 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares) of forest and scrubland had been ravaged.
London Southend Airport remains open despite images showing thick, black smoke
Human rights campaigners urge US government to be 'vigilant' on incitement after deadly rally violence
Ankara demands to know whether Adil Oksuz, wanted over 2016 defeated coup attempt, is in Germany
'We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism,' say AFL-CIO representatives