The United States has intelligence that the Russian mercenary group Wagner plans to provide Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia, with an air defense system, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed US officials.
The Journal claims Wagner plans to supply the Pantsir-S1 system, known to NATO as SA-22, which uses anti-aircraft missiles and air defense guns to intercept aircraft.
The Wagner Group, financed by the Russian State and firmly under Kremlin control since the aborted mutiny of its former leader,Evgeny Prigozhin, in June, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
An unnamed U.S. official cited by the Journal said Washington had not confirmed the delivery of the system. However, U.S. officials are closely monitoring talks between Wagner and Hezbollah, according to the Journal.
The Kremlin has dismissed this information. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Wagner “de facto” does not exist and that such accusations are – as a rule – unfounded.