Haftar’s forces clash with Chadian Rebels in the south of Libya
Haftar’s forces clashed with Chadian rebel forces in the south of Libya on Tuesday and Wednesday, both sides said.
The fighting underscores the risk of further instability in the Sahel region, where an array of groups operate across borders and where fighting has created space for militant organisations.
Statements from Haftar’s forces, which holds most of eastern and southern Libya, said it was engaged in military operations against what it called terrorist groups and the Chadian opposition.
The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) said via social media that its positions on the frontier had been attacked by Haftar’s forces, fighting alongside what it said were Sudanese mercenaries and French troops.
Haftar’s forces said it had carried out air strikes and was conducting aerial patrols. FACT said French air strikes had hit its positions.
The French army said it had no forces on the ground or in the air in that area.
FACT had been based in Libya and fought alongside Haftar’s forces during periods of war, receiving heavy arms from Haftar, researchers say.
Haftar’s forces, which was backed in the Libyan conflict by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, also used fighters from Sudan and Syria as well as those provided by the Russian Wagner Group, a U.N. panel of experts has said.
The UAE deployed drone strikes in support of Haftar’s forces during its foiled 14-month offensive to capture Tripoli, which ended last year. The U.S. military has said that Russia flew jets to Libya last year to support Haftar’s forces operations.
France intervened in the Sahel in 2013, sending forces to help fight militants in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, but grew impatient at political turmoil and said in July it would halve its troop numbers from the 5,000 then deployed.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to email@example.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.