By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 17 August 2017:
For the first time in seven years, a Syrian plane has flown into Benghazi’s Benina airport. The cargo plane initiated what is supposed to be a regular cargo flight between Damascus and Benghazi, although today Syrian officials were also reported on board. It was due to retuen to Damascus with a Libyan trade delegation.
The flight is also the first foreign one to Benghazi since the airport closed three years ago during the clashes there.
It is believed to have been promoted by the Russians to help the Assad regime break out of its isolation in the Arab world.
Libya cut diplomatic ties with Syria in the wake of the 2011 revolution. However, Russia is Syria’s closed friend in the Arab world and Khalifa Hafter has been promoting himself as a close ally for Russia. Earlier this week he was in Moscow trying to persuade the Russians to relax the international ban on providing weaponry to Libya.
It is not known if the Syrian flight was discussed during his talks with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov three days ago, but it would be extremely unlikely if they did not, given Moscow’s support for Damascus.