Arabic News Summary

  • 28 April 2019:  The Qatar-based al-jazeera TV channel reported the view that the Israelis, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), are pushing the Trump Administration into a war with Iran.
  • On the Libya issue, al-jazeera gave a full ½ hour airtime to a spokesman for the UN-recognized Sirraaj government in Tripoli.  The spokesperson’s main point was that the Sirraaj Government would never negotiate with General Haftar.
  • Erdogan said that he would defend Tripoli from attack at all costs.
  • Popular Egyptian talk show host on MBS-Egypt, Amru Adeeb, interviewed General Ahmad   al-Mismarri who reported that Turkey is conveying an-Nusra terrorists (al-Qaeda franchise in Syria), as well as other jihadis, to Tripoli to aid the Sirraaj government.  Al-Mismari also claimed that mercenaries from Chad and other countries have joined the Tripoli militia groups.
  • On another story, Amru Adeeb reported that Turkey is playing games in Sudan as well.
  • Also on 28 April, al-jazeera reported that in Khartoum there were protests in front of the Egyptian embassy, protesting “Egyptian interference.”
  • 29 April, the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based al-Arabiya TV channel reported that there were protests in front of an Islamists office in Khartoum.
  • Arab Spring 2.0 breaks out in Tunisia (the birthplace of the first Arab Spring in 2011), after government forces killed several farmers.  The crowds shouted ash-sha’b yoreed asqaat an-nizhaam (The people want to bring down the regime) which was the slogan used across the Arab world during the first Arab Spring.
  • Egypt’s state newspaper, al-Ahram, quoted President as-Sisi telling the Italian leader that Egypt supports Haftar and will never negotiate with terrorism (a reference to the Sirraaj government).
  • Popular Egyptian talk show host on MBS-Egypt, Amru Adeeb, reported that during the battle for Tripoli, General Haftar’s army captured some Turkish soldiers.
  • Also, on 29 April, al-Arabiyya TV reported that one of the militia groups from Tripoli went to Iran seeking a weapons deal.
  • 30 April an extremist-run media outlet al-Furqan released a picture of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi which was then shown on most of the world’s TV outlets.

COMMENTARY

Okay, so there is a civil war taking place in Libya.  How can we tell the good guys from the bad guys?

On one side you have the “legitimate” Libyan government headed by Faa’ez Sirraaj, handpicked by the EU, and internationally recognized by the UN.

On the other side you have General Haftar who is attacking that “legitimate” government.  General Haftar rose to that lofty ranking while serving under the dictator Qadhafi.  Most of his army is also made up of people who had also served in the military under Qadhafi.  A lot of people inside and outside of Libya, believe that General Haftar and his army are tainted by their former association with Qadhafi.

Therefore, obviously, Haftar is the heavy here, and Sirraaj is the “good guy” under siege trying to defend international legitimacy.

However, when we take a closer look at who is supporting whom, we get a completely different picture.  While Sirraaj was hand-picked by the EU, and while the EU and the rest of the world may wring their hands over the situation in Libya, the only countries providing direct military aid to the Sirraaj government are a list of the planet’s top three state sponsors of terrorism:  Turkey, Iran, and Qatar.

When Sirraaj was first selected to head the new government, there were groans from some quarters because of a suspicion that Sirraaj was either a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, or a sympathizer.  Then, when we look at his “legitimate” coalition government, who are his coalition partners?  Why, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ansar ash-Shari’a (of Benghazi scandal fame).

And, who are the supporters of General Haftar?  Egypt, KSA, and the UAE, all three of whom have declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization and don’t want to see it set up in power on Egypt’s doorstep.

In a bizarre twist, French troops have been noted among General Haftar’s forces attacking Tripoli, even though France, as a member of the EU, theoretically supports the Sirraaj government. Ah, but there is oil in Libya.  Lots of it.  The French have apparently calculated that General Haftar is the only force in Libya capable of eliminating the chaos and establishing law and order over the entire country.  Therefore, they want to get in on the ground floor so that French companies will be granted oil extraction rights in Libya once that hoped for peace and stability are established.

Now, as for General Haftar being tainted by his former association with the Qadhafi regime, he retired before the Arab Spring began.  He therefore never engaged in firing upon the Libyan people.  He came out of retirement to reform the army only after Qadhafi’s removal and only after Libya had fallen into chaos.

This equation then lends support to contentions by al-arabiyya and General Haftar’s intelligence, that the Sirraaj government, and the Tripoli that it controls, are hotbeds of terrorism.  It also supports the Libyan contention that nearly every terrorist on international “most wanted” lists are in Libya.  Some of these, like Saif al-‘Adel, have a 10 million dollar bounty hanging over their heads.   The safest place for these individuals would be in Tripoli under the protection of the Sirraaj government.

Anyone want to bet that ISIS leader al-Baghdadi isn’t there as well?  He has not been seen publicly for five years.  There have been several reports of his being killed in Iraq, then in Syria, with an equal number of reports refuting those reports.

Here are the only things that we actually do know about him:  Several years ago he was wounded during an American bombing raid of an ISIS caravan.  He was then smuggled into Turkey where he was given medical treatment, then the Turks smuggled him into Libya.  There were other reports that al-Baghdadi had told some of his followers that he was going to Libya to set up another center of operations to guard against the possibility of ISIS holdings in Iraq and Syria being lost to the international forces fighting against them.  Since then, there have been no valid reports of al-Baghdadi’s appearance anywhere else, much less valid reports of his death.

SUDAN

We have an equally confused situation in Sudan where it looks like two groups of civilian protestors and a military tainted by its being the same military that served under the ousted dictator al-Basheer.  And here, as in Libya, the only way to tell the players without a program is to look at who is supporting whom.

The Sudanese military junta has thanked Egypt, KSA, and the UAE for their diplomatic support.

We also have reports of Turkey being involved with the protestors combatting the military.

SUMMARY

There are Arab Spring type demonstrations, revolts, and outright civil warfare, taking place in Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria.  There is solid evidence that Turkey is an active participant in the civil war in Libya, along with some evidence that they are involved in the Sudanese Arab Spring.  I cannot help but believe that Turkey is also involved in the Algerian mess, and if not in Tunisia.  Certainly, they will be there too if that Arab Spring 2.0 develops legs there.

All of this must be seen as a part of Erdogan’s grand design to recreate the old Ottoman Empire Caliphate, as is his current military occupations of northern Syria, and ever increasing chunks of Iraq.

ADVICE TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Make a firm decision to come out in favor of General Haftar in Libya, and delegitimize the Sirraaj government in Tripoli.

Rein in Turkey firmly before Erdogan’s fantasy of an Ottoman Empire caliphate 2.0 become a reality, because that would not only spell the death of Egypt and Israel, but would be a calamity for Europe and the rest of the West as well.

1 reply
  1. Rick Mathis
    Rick Mathis says:

    Turkey must be reined in and needed under control.
    Gen. Heftar should be given all the support he needs.

    Reply

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