April 9, 2019
Khalifa Haftar was a tribal leader of the Farjani tribe who fought in Chad and as a mercenary in other places in Africa. While in Libya, he became a mutinous general under Gaddafi, became a CIA asset, ran away from Libya and then got dropped back into the action during the events surrounding the Gaddafi overthrow. Haftar became one of the key commanders of the rebel forces and NATO put him in charge of the Libyan Armed Forces.
Since then, the country has fallen to pieces. There are various militia groups fighting for control of the oil and the Benghazi/Tripoli split of the country is still a thing. Haftar has made a lot of progress in consolidating key territory though. He must think that he can win this thing finally if he’s making his final push on Tripoli.
A warplane has attacked the only functioning airport in Tripoli as fighting between forces loyal to the Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar and rival militias escalated and EU foreign ministers met in Brussels to try to de-escalate the violence.
Mitiga airport, in an eastern suburb of the capital, was closed after it was hit in an airstrike by pro-Haftar forces. Passengers could be seen leaving the terminal, a Reuters correspondent at the airport said. Fighting was also under way at Tripoli’s international airport, 15 miles from the city centre, which has not been functioning since fighting destroyed much of it in 2014.
The UN said 2,800 people had been displaced in an upsurge in violence that broke out after Haftar ordered fighters in his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), to march on the capital on Thursday.
Pay attention to the language. “Libyan warlord” and “self-styled Libyan National Army” indicate that something’s gone wrong here. This is not the kind of language that the CIAniggers and MI6 use to describe their own assets.
Has something gone wrong? Has Haftar gone rogue? The Western press seems decidedly pro-Tripoli and anti-Haftar.
Meanwhile, the Russians seem to be leaning pro-Haftar now.
A UK-led move to pass a security council statement condemning Haftar at the UN in New York on Sunday was blocked by Russia, which insisted all sides should be urged to show restraint. The UK draft would also have called “for those who undermine Libya’s peace and security to be held to account” and renewed support for a national conference to be held this month on holding elections.
And the usual Neocon shills are now anti-Haftar.
In the wake of the Russian veto, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, issued a statement identifying Haftar as the source of the problem.
“We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital,” Pompeo said. “Forces should return to status quo ante positions.”
The unrest in Libya deepened at the weekend after the government in Tripoli said it would launch a counter-attack against Haftar’s forces. The UN envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, said he met with Sarraj on Monday to discuss how the UN mission “can assist at this critical and difficult juncture”.
They’re talking about possibly intervening in Libya against Haftar.
Which, despite his participation in the anti-Gaddafi NATO war, Haftar has since been fighting the Mujahadeen-style Islamist militias.
You can just tell by his appearance that he fits more into the “Arab strongman” mold than the bearded jihadi mold.
That’s probably the issue here. The US is in bed with Jihadis, and prefers Libya be in a state of permanent war and turmoil and a transit country for migrants into Europe instead of consolidated by another military dictator.