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The countdown of Haftar phenomenon

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LIBYAPROSPECT – London

The militarily and politically events accelerated after the US President Barak Obama announced his decision earlier this month to support the Government of National Accord (GNA) militarily, through organized airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) in the city of Sirte. Both political and military events have escalated.

The Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds Alaraby, said in its opinion, and LIBYAPROSPECT translates here, that in a report published by the Washington Post, a Libyan military source confirmed that the US intervention is not limited to air strikes, but also includes the presence of Special Operations troops “Commandos” providing on-the-ground support to the GNA.

In another occurrence, which is of great significance, Libyan military sources revealed that the French Special Forces supported the House of Representatives (HoR) Army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, withdrew from Benghazi a few days ago. Sources suggest that the troops are headed towards a US military base close to Malta. The French military presence was criticized heavily by the GNA and considered it a “blatant interference,” which resulted in the summoning of the French ambassador in Tripoli, who made an appearance after the death of three soldiers in a helicopter crash in Benghazi.

In a statement issued by six Western governments (US, France, Italy, UK, Germany, and Spain), the GNA has been called upon to take control of all power plants in Libya, which is the general opinion that the Libyan public is leaning towards, upon tensions, over which group is authorised to manage Al-Zwetina Oil Port, whether it is the government’s army or the oil installations’ guard. Haftar’s statements played a significant role in destabilizing the situation.

The US’s decision came after an extended period of hesitation. Reactions from western nations seem to be for the US’s raids on Sirte, especially after France’s ‘efforts’ in supporting the power-hungry Khalifa Haftar, an act that controverts entirely with the International Community’s (both Arab and Western) consent on the GNA.

The silence is dominating Haftar’s regional supporters, in particular, Egypt, was broken when Cairo announced their support to the US’s military raids on the Islamic State (IS) in Sirte. Regardless Cairo’s position being a formality or diplomatically motivated; it proves Cairo’s inability to defy the US’s western-backed decision.

Egypt’s ability to play the Haftar card to halt the return of a centralized Libyan government has weakened, due to the political, economic and social problems that Egypt is currently facing. Upon the Gulf’s decision to cut off their funding, Egypt finds itself in a position to seek aid from the International Monetary Fund regardless of the social and economic costs of this decision.

The only objection came from the Russian capital Moscow. However, this rejection can be reflected through the “Veto Weapon” in the UN’s Security Council, as was the case in regards to Yemen. Unfortunately, for the Russians, this will not delay the ongoing events in Libya, simply because they do not have the tools necessary on Libyan soil.

To be fair to the GNA, the seriousness of this government’s use of political and military resources to combat the IS, which cost them hundreds of casualties and injuries, at a time when Haftar was busy growing his publicity, had everything to do with the current evolving events.

The end of Haftar’s validity and his affiliates in some Arab countries will be a joyous occasion, a countdown to communities’ ability to reject extremism and to create genuine political compromises.