Pentagon accuses Moscow of sending fighter jets to back Libyan warlord

Reports: Hundreds of Russian, Syrian Fighters Retreat from Libyan Capital

US accuses Russia of deploying fighter jets in Libya

The UN mission in Libya said it "strongly condemns these acts, which serve no military objective, provoke extreme fear among the population, and violate the rights of innocent civilians who must be protected under global humanitarian law".

She mentioned the United Nations had a powerful arms sanctions regime in Libya, nevertheless it was not working when safety council member or their allies had been breaching the regime.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said that the Russians had sent a mix of "approximately 14 military fighters".

"Russian military aircraft are likely to provide close air support and offensive fire", the US Africa Command said in a statement.

The state department said Friday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with the leader of the Tripoli-based government, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj " to reiterate US opposition to the continued level of weapons and munitions being brought into the country", according to a State Department spokesperson.

Pro-GNA forces, with growing support from Turkey, have chalked up a series of victories in recent weeks largely thanks to their air superiority.

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The Kremlin has always denied involvement.

Last month, unrevealed AFRICOM authorities angling for a return of USA pressures to Libya insinuated, via a pleasant Washington press reporter, that Russian visibility there would certainly be "more dangerous" to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation than that of Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS) terrorists.

Haftar, however, was unable to overthrow the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and speaker Saleh, who was seen as a subordinate of Haftar, as he enjoys major tribal support in eastern Libya.

"We have asked for all parties that are operating, that´s the Russians and the Turks and others, to cease their behavior there".

By contrast, the USA position on Libya is very unclear.

At a U.N. Security Council videoconference earlier this month, Britain and the United States urged Russian Federation to stop sending mercenaries to Libya.

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Townsend said Russian Federation has long denied the extent of its involvement in the Libyan conflict. "Well, there is no denying it now", Townsend said.

"Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favour in Libya", Townsend said.

Oil-rich Libya has been torn by civil war since a NATO-backed popular uprising ousted and killed the country's longtime dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, in 2011.

Rival administrations and militias have been vying for power ever since.

Haftar, who controls the eastern part of the country, is now seeking to capture the capital, Tripoli, and his LNA is battling GNA forces.

Jaroushi's announcement came after GNA forces captured the LNA's Watiya airbase, some 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of Tripoli, marking the worst setback for Hifter's forces since launching their offensive against the western capital in April past year.

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He went on to say that "Moscow's military actions have prolonged the Libyan conflict and exacerbated casualties and human suffering on both sides".

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