Leaked tape recordings show Khalifa Haftar’s forces are backed by American, British and Italian military, Middle East Eye reported

  • Middle East Eye |
  • Friday 8 July 2016
A Libyan boy holds a portrait of Major-General Halifa Haftar as people celebrate the decision by their parliament to reject the UN proposals for a national unity government, in a public square in Benghazi late on October 19, 2015. A majority of lawmakers in Libya's internationally recognised parliament rejected a UN peace deal and a proposal for a national unity government, one of them said. AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA / AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA

A Libyan boy holds a portrait of Major-General Halifa Haftar as people celebrate the decision by their parliament to reject the UN proposals for a national unity government, in a public square in Benghazi late on October 19, 2015. A majority of lawmakers in Libya’s internationally recognised parliament rejected a UN peace deal and a proposal for a national unity government, one of them said. AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA / AFP PHOTO / ABDULLAH DOMA

Multinational military operation involving British, French and US forces is coordinating air strikes in support of a renegade general battling Islamist militia groups from a base near Benghazi in eastern Libya, air traffic recordings obtained by Middle East Eye reveal.

The leaked tapes appear to confirm earlier reports suggesting the existence of an international operations centre that is helping General Khalifa Haftar in his campaign to gain control of eastern Libya from groups he has declared to be “extremists”.

At least one air strike was heard being coordinated in the tapes, which total just under an hour in length, suggesting the operations room is not simply being used for reconnaissance.

The recordings were passed on to MEE from the Benina air base, which is considered to be Haftar’s most important military facility.

The leaks could prove damaging for the international parties involved because Haftar has refused to support the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, and has been fighting some groups that have taken part in the western-backed campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group.

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