LIBYAPROSPECT – Heba Mahmoud
Amidst official silence from the Presidential Council (PC of the Government of National Accord (GNA), as well as the international silence, the commander of the army of the House of Representatives (HoR), General Khalifa Haftar, wrestled full control over Al-Jufra area.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed Website published a report on the story (translated here by LIBYAPROSPECT).
The spokesperson of Haftar’s Army, Ahmed Mesmary, announced the control over weapon warehouses, armoured vehicles, and military jets found around Al-Jufra base. But local and military sources confirmed that “the area fell, on Saturday, under Haftar’s forces because of tribal allies that backed the troops in the area.
Sources said that “the armed tribal men from Weddan and Sokna areas engaged with the GNA affiliated armed groups, asked them to retreat. The tribal leaders vowed to protect the area, conveying their desire to have any interlopers from outside. The area was handed over to Haftar without a fight.”
Social media activists and pro-Haftar media circulated photos depict armed vehicles and cars, carrying Haftar logos, to delude the public that they controlled the area after fierce fighting. Despite the GNA and the International Appeals to stop the military escalation in Al-Jufra and the south, especially following the repeated airstrikes, there were no local or international reactions regarding the recent development.
Observers see the statements by anti-Haftar officials and cities as a signal to the possibility of Haftar’s advance to the west, especially to Tripoli. Misrata political block warned, on Saturday, of the consequences of Egyptian airstrikes against Misrata, pointing that “the Egyptian media is provoking hatred against Misrata.”
From his side, the head of Justice and Construction party, Mohamed Sowane, demanded the Algerian authorities play a greater role, reject, and prevent the Egyptian military intervention in Libya. Regarding international stature, Sowane said that “Unfortunately, the International Community is a delusional concept, it is only a contradiction of interests and affiliations,” he added that International Community is not doing anything to fulfil the results of the Political Agreement.
Statements opposing Haftar military ambitions follow the reports about Cairo’s desire to increase the military support to Haftar. Sources said that Haftar is preparing for the ground military campaign with the participation of the Egyptian special forces, in the east and south of Libya, revealing the arrive of Egyptian special forces to Lamloda camp, near Derna to participate in some military operations aimed at storming inside the city.
Also, Bushra agency, the media arm of Benghazi Defence Brigades said that the Egyptian forces arrived at Al-Mabrouk oil field.
Haftar affiliated official didn’t hide their intention to advance towards new areas in the western part of Libya. The commander of Haftar’s air forces, Mohamed Manfur, said that the air strikes to be executed soon in the north and north-west of Al-Jufra. He added that “Haftar’s forces are mobilising to pursue fighters who fled Al-Jufra to the north” in a clear signal to attacking Sirte “north of Al-Jufra.”
Regarding the Egyptian military interventions in Libya, observers raise many questions about the Libyan accord and the Political Agreement in the country, especially that Haftar refused the outcomes of the Libya dialogue and refused to continue the negotiations with the head of the PC, Fayez Al-Sarraj. Besides that, Haftar, who previously announced that he would not interfere in the political trajectory, is getting ready to prevail with the help of Al-Sisi militarily. Al-Sisi’s support to Haftar is a clear signal of Haftar’s political aspirations.