The Hill: Haftar is no longer part of solution to Libya’s crisis
The US newspaper, The Hill, said on Wednesday that “renegade general Khalifa Haftar” is no longer part of the solution in Libya.
“The United States and the international community used to view Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) as part of the solution for Libya. However, even with a possible endorsement by President Trump following a phone call between the two, and even with backing from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France, it is hard to see how Haftar can become a unifier or claim victory.” The Hill, which is very prestigious in Washington DC, explained.
The Hill also added that claims that Haftar destroyed ISIS are simply wrong, saying the fact is that Haftar gave free passage to ISIS fighters from Derna to Sirte, a trip of some 450 miles through the Oil Crescent area which he controls.
“It was the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli with help of the United States, that actually defeated ISIS in fierce battles lasting months in 2016. Fighters mainly from Misrata lost over 700 people in heavy fighting to eliminate ISIS from their stronghold in Sirte. ISIS fighters fled into the desert when safe passage was given to women, children and citizens trapped in the city.” The newspaper indicated.
The Hill went on to say that now, it is difficult to view Haftar’s earlier promises and actions as little more than public relations stunts to win national and international sympathy, or an attempt to barter for further control. Haftar would address stability and extremists — but only if doing so would increase his power and control over the country.
“His actions against extremists were calculated and well-timed with plenty of balancing acts, logistics, and political support from key backers: the UAE, France and Russia, and lately Saudi Arabia.” The newspaper added.
“Haftar needs considerable help to recruit fighters and mercenaries from abroad as he was unable to recruit enough Libyans to his army. Within Haftar’s LNA there are followers of radical Saudi cleric Rabea al Madhali, radical Justice and Equality Party fighters from Sudan, and the Awliaa Aldum (Blood Guardians) — a Salafist Wahabi militia that follows the same radical Saudi clerics from which grew Al-Qaeda and ISIS.” It indicated.
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