LIBYA UPDATE: AL-ARABIYYA SATELLITE TV CHANNEL 09 APRIL 2019
General Mismari, the spokesman for General Haftar’s forces, claimed that the UN-recognized provisional government of Fayez Sirraj is closely allied with a cornucopia of extremist groups. Among these extremist groups are ISIS sleeper cells.
Note that General Mismari, and other Libyan sources, had reported previously that al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ansar ash-Shari’a were active in Tripoli, the seat of the Sirraj government.
General Mismari had also previously reported that al-Qaeda bigwig Saif al-‘Adel, who has a ten million dollar reward outstanding for information as to his location, is among those in Libya. Saif al-‘Adel is wanted by the U.S. for his role in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings.
As if in verification of General Mismari’s accusations that the Sirraj government had allowed extremist militias to roam freely in Tripoli, and was even using them as the major part of its armed forces, the United States just evacuated many of its personnel from Tripoli while admitting that the U.S. had been keeping 300 troops there to protect the Embassy.
This raises the question as to why the U.S. would need 300 troops to guard an Embassy in Tripoli . . . unless that city was overrun with extremist groups.
And, yet, the U.S. and most of the rest of the international community has been supporting the Sirraj government while treating Haftar’s army (composed mostly of former members of Qadhafi’s military) as a pariah.
That being said, there are rumors out of the Middle East that the French have been supporting Haftar, and that some French military personnel had been killed in the recent fighting with militias allied to Sirraj. The speculation from Arabic commentators is that the French want to be first in line for Libya’s oil once this is all over and Haftar become the ruler of Libya.
Russia also appears to be leaning towards Haftar, as do Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E.
Finally, the position of General Haftar, as expressed by General Mismari, is that both sides, Haftar based in Benghazi and the east, and the Sirraj government based in Tripoli in the west, would stay out of each other’s territories—with the provision that Sirraj would rid Tripoli of the terrorist groups roaming the city. Sirraj’s failure to make any effort on that endeavor is why Haftar decided to take care of Tripoli himself.
My view is that the U.S. and other rational international entities ought to side with Haftar as the only force in Libya capable of establishing law and order and stability. Indeed, Haftar’s forces have already proven themselves capable, by liberating several towns and regions from extremist groups.