By Graeme Baker

The US has established a military base in the southernmost reaches of Libya, documents reveal, as Washington cements its presence in Libya and beyond amid claims by Donald Trump it has “no role” in the country.

Documents released under a freedom of information request show a US “contingency location” was set up around 2015 at al-Wigh, a Saharan desert oasis near Libya’s borders with Niger, Chad, and Algeria.

The base is positioned near smuggling routes from Niger and Chad, used by thousands of migrants attempting to reach the African coastline, and in a region where gun-runners move weapons between Libya, Niger, Chad and Mali.

It is listed as a “non-permanent” facility and its current status and force size is unknown. However, the documents show that the US command structure in Africa, Africom, set out plans to convert many “contingency locations” into semi-permanent bases for use by rapid US reaction forces.