Illustration - Combat drone operating in the desert.
Isaac Brekken-AFPIllustration - Combat drone operating in the desert.

The Libyan Al-Kharruba airbase, 90 miles southwest of Benghazi, houses the Russian mercenary group units, who were struck by an unknown UAV

Russian mercenary group Wagner were hit by drone strikes in Libya. No casualties were reported at the airbase, a military source told AFP.

The location was "where members of the Wagner group are located", the official said. He assured the international agency that there were "no victims.”

i24NEWSMap of Libya

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the military official told AFP that the origin of the strike was “unknown.” He only provided the location as the Al-Kharruba airbase, 90 miles southwest of Benghazi, as well as the lack of casualties.

As a result of the Arab Spring in 2011, which resulted in the ouster and death of former Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, the oil-rich country has remained in turmoil. All attempts to build a democratic state since have failed.

ABDULLAH DOMA / AFPLibya's eastern military chief Khalifa Haftar (2nd-L) waves in the eastern city of Benghazi, Libya.

Libya spiraled into a civil war between rivaling governments in 2014, essentially splitting the military into two warring factions. The U.N.-backed Tripoli administration, known as the government of national accord, controls the west. It is also supported by Turkey, Qatar and Iran. 

The east side is led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, supreme commander of the Libyan National Army. Their backers are similarly divergent, with Russia, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

United Nations investigators have said there is evidence crimes against humanity were committed against Libyans and migrants stuck in Libya, by state security forces and armed militia groups. Officials have said there is a “historic opportunity" to tackle the political crisis with an upcoming election.

Fighters from Chad, Sudan, Niger and Syria have converged on the North African country, as recruited mercenaries. The Wagner group was hired to help Haftar, who are still active in the oil-rich region. Though some left to fight in Ukraine.

The Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin led a failed mutiny in Russia, on Saturday, although he called to avoid the destruction of his mercenary group and to hold top military leaders accountable. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was in control of events from the beginning and took steps to avoid “large scale bloodshed.” 

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