Archive | Libya

Three women, loads of lies and the destruction of Libya

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) talks with Susan Rice (L), the US Ambassador to the United Nations in a Security Council meeting during the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2010 at UN headquarters in New York. [STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images]

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) talks with Susan Rice (L), the US Ambassador to the United Nations in a Security Council meeting during the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2010 at UN headquarters in New York. [STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images]

Dr Mustafa Fetouri

Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power were the three principal advocates of war against Libya in 2011, setting the North African nation on a free fall ever since. Demonstrations broke out in some Libyan cities against the government of late Muammar Gaddafi in February 2011, in what became known as the “Arab Spring” that engulfed the region. However, Libya’s promised spring turned into a destructive autumn during which Gaddafi was murdered on 20 October, 2011, and Libya was left anguishing in lawlessness, courtesy of the three women.

Secretary of State Clinton deployed whatever the State Department had to make the pitch for war, undercutting both the Pentagon and the US intelligence community. Pentagon officials and Democratic legislator Dennis Kucinich were so distrustful of Clinton, that they even opened their back channel with the Gaddafi government to try to stop the unnecessary war on Libya. However, Clinton had the ear of President Barak Obama and was feeding him unfounded stories about the conflict in Libya, in order to convince him to authorise the US military to take action. President Obama, at one point, referred anyone discussing the Libyan issue to talk to Clinton.

In her push for war and regime change in Libya, Clinton first used every possible means available to her as secretary of state to rally other US allies to support the intervention, under the pretext of “protecting civilians and civilian populated areas” in Libya alleged to be under government siege. She commanded Rice, the US’ permanent representative at the United Nations (UN) Security Council to campaign for the votes in the council to secure the passing of Resolution 1973, vaguely authorising the use of force. That resolution cleared the council by a vote of ten in favour, with five abstaining, including Russia and China. At the same time, Power, an official in the Obama administration’s national security team, took care of marketing the war as a “humanitarian intervention” within the administration.

READ: How the European Union betrayed Libya, and itself too 

For Clinton, who failed in almost every job she had, pushing for war against Libya in 2011 meant using her skills not only as the US’ top diplomat, but also as a prolific liar, too. She lied, at least twice, to the American people and legislators, simply by misrepresenting the events on the ground inside Libya at the time, and by claiming that regime change in Libya was not the real goal of the military intervention from the beginning. Even after NATO started bombing, she shut the door to any mediation or presentation of the Libyan government’s side of the story.

Clinton keeps twisting the Libyan narrative three years later, even when no longer secretary of state. In her memoir, Hard Choices, published in 2014, Clinton omitted NATO’s role in the regime change in Libya by claiming that the Libyan rebels captured Tripoli “by late summer 2011”, without mentioning NATO’s actions. At that point in the Libyan war, the NATO bombardment of Libya had expanded massively, beyond the declared mission of “protecting civilians” as required by the UN resolution. Regime change became the ultimate objective. Then-President Obama himself lied, or was misled to lie, by his very secretary of state. In his 23 March, 2011, remarks about Libya, Obama described the task he had assigned to the US military as protection of “the Libyan people from immediate danger” by establishing a no-fly zone with no intention of broadening that mission to include “regime change”, as that would be a “mistake”, according to Obama.

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power at a Security Council meeting on counter terrorism at the United Nations on 30 September 2015 in New York City. [Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power at a Security Council meeting on counter terrorism at the United Nations on 30 September 2015 in New York City. [Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Rice, the US diplomat at the UN, tried to qualify Clinton’s lies at the Security Council by projecting a massacre in eastern Libya. The fact is that the Libyan government, at the time, was responding to armed rebellion like any government would do. Even today, there is no evidence to support the claim that Gaddafi was planning, let alone executing, any massacres in any part of Libya.

Most Libyans still remember Rice, after the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, hugging Libya’s representative who earlier defected. That scene, which shows a tearful Abdurrahman Shalgham embracing a sombre-looking Rice, became the subject of sarcasm and ridicule. Some Gaddafi supporters even interpreted it as more evidence of the “conspiracy” against Libya.

In marketing the war within the ranks of the Obama administration, Power played the history card to create fear of failure and inaction by President Obama. She exaggerated events in Libya, even comparing it to the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which nearly one million people were killed. Invoking the Rwandan experience was designed to provoke the strongest reaction by Obama, a Democrat himself, as was Bill Clinton under whose watch the Rwandan mass killing unfolded. The world later discovered that the Clinton administration knew what was going on in Rwanda, but chose to ignore it. Apparently, Power, by comparing Libya to Rwanda, wanted to warn President Obama not to ignore Libya and be accused of lying, which he did anyway in the Libyan case.

Obama, five years later in a 2016 interview, admitted that intervening in Libya was his “worst” mistake, blaming British and French leaders instead of his own advisors. None of the three advisors has ever been held accountable to answer serious questions about the Libyan fiasco. Instead, Power later served as US ambassador to the UN before joining one of the US’ top universities – Harvard, no less. Rice is a researcher at the American University in Washington, while Clinton went on to run for president, losing to Donald Trump in 2016.

READ: Why do Arab leaders respect treaties with others but not between themselves? 

Posted in USA, LibyaComments Off on Three women, loads of lies and the destruction of Libya

Libya: New War Has Begun

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

One week ago, the residents of Tripoli took to the streets protesting the Government of National Accord headed up by Fayez al-Sarraj. The crowds were angry because only those at the top of the Sarraj government have enriched themselves becoming billionaires and siphoning off much needed oil revenues.

The people are hungry, and utilities have been problematic. Sources have indicated that Sarraj has removed billions from Libya and not only financed the Muslim Brotherhood but has deposited large amounts into his various bank accounts across Europe.

Sarraj made a series of missteps that have caused even the United Nations to sit up and take notice. Sarraj terminated his Interior Minister then pushed terrorists to occupy key positions within the GNA. The final straw that enraged Tripoli residents was Sarraj’s appointment of terrorist public security militia commander Imad Trabelsi to the position of deputy head of Libyan Intelligence per resolution 595 this year.

Sarraj handed the country’s most sensitive files and secrets to a host of known terrorists who have bled the country of its wealth only to finance other terrorist activities around the world. The United Nations should be very proud of its accomplishments. They gave the keys to the bank to a group of terrorists.

Well financed now, what terrorist acts will take place in the future as a consequence of the UN’s actions? Later this month, the UN should consider Libya as the number one issue to tackle and end all of the proxy wars and remove all foreign fighters from Libya. There is no hope as long as powerful rich nations continue to pour money, equipment and fighters into Libya, only to keep the status quo at war.

BBC News (World)@BBCWorldGeneral Khalifa Haftar’s rival Libya government resigns after Benghazi protests

Protesters in Benghazi on 12 September 2020.

Days later, residents filled the streets of Benghazi and protested for the very same reasons—no food, no money, and people are tired of ineffective leadership. The House of Representatives (HOR), the only legally elected governmental body in Libya since the 2011 War in Libya, vested all of the national defense into the hands of Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar to his credit, had attacked foreign fighters and militias who held Tripoli hostage, but he failed to ever achieve his objective. Turkey and Qatar increased their stakes by importing some 12,000 mercenary fighters from Syria and dumped them into Tripoli to add to a huge burdening and growing complicated mess.

Haftar has retreated back to Sirte, the birthplace of Muammar Gadaffi, then Egypt and the United Arab Emirates increased their positions and stepped up the importation of drones, and other equipment. All of this has netted zero effect and gained no ground nor placed the Libyan National Army and the HOR any closer to regaining control of Libya. In fact, Libya is now worse, and the people are suffering immensely.

Yesterday, protesters stepped up their violence and set fire to government buildings and also Haftar’s own office building as a message to him and his staff that they have lost the confidence and support of his own people. Haftar and staff are on their way out.

All of the protests and other events that have unfolded inside Libya are the beginnings of a new front in an effort to free Libya. A huge upswell of volunteers and former military and intelligence operatives have banded together with the tribes to form the new Libyan People’s Army with no allegiance to Sarraj nor Haftar.

The new army has grown significantly in the last two weeks with even one brigade commander inside Tripoli now pledging his allegiance to the new army, as well as one field commander under Haftar’s command has also defected and stands ready to take action in the coming weeks. Several more militia and brigade commanders are in talks with the LPA to defect and join the new effort.

What sets the LPA apart from Sarraj and Haftar is the fact that it is commanded by Libyans with no foreign influence or agendas. This grassroots effort gave birth to a fast-rising army of the people driven by a fervor for freedom and to end this proxy war between bitter foreign foes.

The crumbling inside both competing governments has taken its toll and lost the confidence of the people. The people of Libya have long suffered these last 9 years from a fraudulent war that was launched by former President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their allies inside NATO.

The entire war in 2011 was a ruse for Obama and Clinton to manufacture the necessity to go to war because neither of them had any successful foreign policies.

Clinton erased and destroyed emails and any evidence of the extensive efforts to deliver weapons in violation of United States laws as well as violating United Nations Resolution 1970. Civilian casualties and the mass destruction of private property inside Libya has been immense.

Yesterday the entire HOR based in Tobruk resigned, thus ending the entire governmental structure inside eastern Libya creating a power vacuum for the LPA to seize. In the coming weeks, the LPA will continue to grow and increase its membership as the only viable solution to end the 9 years of nightmare inside Libya. Sources have indicated that Haftar and staff will be removed from any remaining control and the LNA will be absorbed into the LPA.

This new collective effort seeks to drive Turkey and Qatar out of Tripoli and all of Libya. Inside sources indicated that all of the foreign fighters imported from Syria will not be allowed to leave.

The LPA seeks to end all regional aggression and restore peace for all of civil society. The stakes are extremely high, and the success of this new effort depends on the bravery and persistence of the Libya people.

By Justin Michaelsburg

Posted in LibyaComments Off on Libya: New War Has Begun

Syrian and Libyan oil: Washington’s hand in the till

People across the middle east continue to suffer war and economic hardships as the price of living on top of coveted oil resources.

Lalkar writers

Despite the clear failure of the western-backed jihadi war of subversion against Syria to impose a change of leadership, thanks to the courageous resistance of the Syrian Arab Army and the fraternal assistance of Russia and Iran, imperialism continues in its efforts to strangle the country economically, so hampering the nation’s reconstruction.

It does this in two ways: by the imposition of sanctions, and by obstructing government access to the nation’s oil wealth, concentrated primarily in the north-east of the country.

Daylight robbery in Syria

Imperialism’s chosen guard dogs in the Kurdish SDF rent-an-army are ostensibly tasked with ‘protecting’ this oil resource from remnants of Islamic State, but their real job is to deprive the Syrian nation of its own oil revenues and hold the door open for imperialist plunder.

This is now openly declared US policy. On 30 July, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told the Senate foreign relations committee that an (as yet unnamed) American oil company would begin operations in the north-east of Syria in areas under SDF occupation.

To back the SDF militarily, US forces are being established in the provinces of Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor, and US convoys have been ferrying war materiel into the north-east.

This new US aggression has not gone unanswered by patriotic forces however. A Syrian Arab Army checkpoint near the settlement of Tell al-Zakhab recently barred entry of a US patrol into a government-controlled area southeast of the city of Qamishli in Hasakah.

A US reprisal airstrike sadly claimed the life of one soldier and injured two more, but this flouting of Syrian sovereignty is meeting with increasing resistance from people in Syrian towns and villages, who have repeatedly denied passage to US convoys, driving them back into SDF-controlled areas.

One Syrian tribe in the province of Deir ez-Zor, the Al-Uqaydat, has announced the formation of a military council to launch popular resistance against both the Americans and the Kurds. It blames America for the assassination of a tribal elder, Matshar al-Hafl, as well as complaining about other assassinations of its leaders by the SDF.

Clearly, the US has not lost the knack of winning hearts and minds that served it so well in Vietnam.

The price of oil in Libya

Oil is also central to the civil strife that continues to make life a misery for Libyans, who, after seeing over four decades’ worth of economic and social progress wiped out by western-backed counter-revolution and Nato bombs, now live in fear as rival imperialist interests pick through the ruins to plunder the country’s mineral wealth.

Whilst the ‘international community’ pretends to have its sights set on peace and reconciliation in Libya, the biggest obstacle to that outcome is precisely the conflicting vested interests of those imperialists who are backing the two sides.

When the western-backed Benghazi revolt against the Libyan revolution blew up in 2011, the French oil company Total did a secret deal with the rebels, who promised it a tempting range of oil concessions should the revolt prove successful. Britain’s BP and Italy’s ENI had already secured concessions in the 1990s.

Turkey, meanwhile, is anxious to get access to gas deposits under the Mediterranean, and hopes to achieve this by lending its support to the so-called ‘Government of National Accord’ (GNA). However, in spite of the fact that the UN officially recognises the GNA as the legitimate government, Turkey is in practice its only major backer, bringing it into collision with fellow Nato member France, which backs the revolt by the Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Haftar, a stand shared by most other international parties.

Ankara and the GNA have identified an ‘exclusive economic zone’ off the Libyan coast to which Turkey has been granted access – in exchange for increased military assistance.

Whilst most of the blood being shed on all sides is Libyan, direct conflict between France and Turkey erupted on the high seas at the beginning of July.

In theory, the United Nations has put an embargo on arms sales to either side in the war, which Nato is supposed to be policing. According to Paris, however, when one of its ships tried to approach a freighter suspected of running weapons to Libya, three Turkish warships threatened it, lighting it up three times by targeting radar.

Ankara has hotly denied the Paris version of events, as each country accuses the other of breaking the arms embargo.

Efforts by Russia to broker a truce have been hampered by the GNA’s insistence on winning militarily, despite the declared readiness of the LNA to sign up for an immediate ceasefire.

And, behind the scenes, rival imperialist interests prolong and exacerbate the civil conflict as they jostle to be in the best position to take control of Libya’s oil wealth.

Posted in USA, Libya, SyriaComments Off on Syrian and Libyan oil: Washington’s hand in the till

Haftar rejects GNA’s call for Libya ceasefire

LNA dismisses ceasefire announcement as ‘marketing’ stunt, says GNA is planning a Turkish-backed offensive on Sirte.

A member of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar stands on a military vehicle at one of their sites west of Sirte, Libya [Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters]
A member of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar stands on a military vehicle at one of their sites west of Sirte, Libya [Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters]

Renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces have dismissed a ceasefire announcement by Libya’s internationally recognised government as a “marketing” stunt.

Ahmed Mismari, spokesman for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), said on Sunday rival forces from the war-torn country’s west were mobilising around front lines in the centre of the country.

In a media briefing, he said the eastern-based forces were ready to respond to any attempted attack on its positions around the coastal city of Sirte and Jufra, further inland.

Mismari’s comments were the first by the LNA after the announcement on Friday of a ceasefire and a call for the resumption of oil production by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

“The initiative that al-Sarraj signed is for media marketing,” Mismari said. “There is a military build-up and the transfer of equipment to target our forces in Sirte,” he added.

“If al-Sarraj wanted a ceasefire, he would have drawn his forces back, not advanced towards our units in Sirte.”

Mismari made no reference to a parallel ceasefire call also issued on Friday by the head of Libya’s eastern-based parliament, Aguila Saleh. Saleh has gained influence compared with Haftar since Turkish military support for the GNA forced the LNA to retreat from a 14-month offensive on Tripoli in June.

Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina, reporting from Misrata, said: “Previously in any negotiations or any peace talks in Libya, Haftar was a very significant member and very involved in these kinds of talks – and he’s feeling sidelined now.”

Traina noted this was not the first time Haftar had rejected a ceasefire agreement. In January, Turkey and Russia also tried to support a truce that was signed by the GNA in Moscow, but not by Haftar.

“If Haftar’s foreign backers stop supporting him, does this mean that the GNA will be able to make advances? Does this mean that Saleh and al-Sarraj will be able to come to a peaceful agreement and bring about a lasting peace in Libya? That remains to be seen,” Traina said.

 Meanwhile on Saturday, Libya’s High Council of State, an advisory body to the GNA, vehemently rejected any dialogue with Haftar.

In a statement, it underlined the need to seriously work to end the “state of insurgency” in the country through an immediate ceasefire and the need to enable the government to take control over all of Libyan soil.

“Any dialogue or agreement should be under the Libyan political agreement, which regulated the mechanism of dialogue to be only between elected bodies,” it added.

With Haftar loyalists blocking oil facilities in the country in recent months, the council also called for resuming the production and export of oil – Libya’s main source of income – and holding those responsible for the closure of the facilities accountable.

Libya splintered into rival political and armed groupings after the uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The oil-rich country remains deeply divided between factions based in the east and west that back rival governments and parliaments.

The conflict has become an arena for regional rivalries, with Haftar being supported by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates and the GNA having the backing of Turkey and Qatar.

There has been little fighting since June. In the past, both sides have accused each other of quickly violating truces and using them to rearm.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Libya, UKComments Off on Haftar rejects GNA’s call for Libya ceasefire

US confused policy on Libya encourages Turkey

By: Mona El-Mahrouki

Washington has kept a perplexing silence about Ankara’s transfer of thousands of militants from Idlib.

Militants loyal to Libya’s Turkish-backed government in Tripoli. (REUTERS)


TUNIS –Ankara is taking advantage of the US’s confused policy in Libya and President Donald Trump’s preoccupation with the volatile situation in the US since the killing of an African-American citizen by a white policeman to torpedo international efforts to stop the fighting in Libya, which are seen by many as the last chance to prevent the conflict from slipping into a new phase that could lead to greater Russian intervention and ultimately the “Syrianisation” of the conflict.

On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced his country’s rejection of the Egyptian initiative to solve the Libyan crisis, describing it as an attempt to save Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar after the losses he suffered on the battlefield.

“The effort for a Cairo cease fire was stillborn,” Cavusoglu told a Turkish newspaper. “If a cease-fire is to be signed, it should be across a platform that brings all sides together.”

Turkey’s position defies the US National Security Council’s support of the Cairo initiative. On Sunday, the Council said it was hoping that the Egyptian peace initiative on Libya would lead to a ceasefire, the withdrawal of foreign forces and the return of UN-led political negotiations.

For his part, President Donald Trump welcomed, during a telephone conversation on Wednesday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian efforts towards a political settlement in Libya, and towards ending the violence there by supporting a ceasefire, and acting to implement the will of the Libyan people and their desire for security and stability. Trump’s move signals the beginning of the White House’s efforts to retake control of the Libyan file from the Department of State.

Some, however, have described the US support for the ceasefire in Libya as just a “formal” gesture, saying that the US is more likely to back Ankara’s intransigence and its persistence in continuing the fighting until it achieves control of all military bases and oil fields and terminals. And it is this scenario that could prompt Russia to intervene directly in Libya, considering the weak capabilities of the LNA to face up to Turkey.

Former US Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman and former Deputy Commander of the US European Command General Charles Wald said the subversive role played by the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Libya constituted a threat to the vital interests of the United States and a direct challenge to Washington’s efforts to encourage energy projects for peaceful purposes in the Middle East.

Edelman and Wald considered that the Trump administration’s reluctance to lead any initiatives to stop confrontations in Libya gave way to the aggressive Turkish intervention in Libya, which is exacerbating the conflict there. Both former officials were quoted in statements to the digital magazine Breaking Defense as insisting that Erdogan’s actions in Libya give the opportunity for the terrorist organisation ISIS to reorganise its ranks and expose Europe to a new wave of refugees and migrants.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Turkish intervention in Libya is Erdogan’s transfer of thousands of Syrian extremists from Idlib to Tripoli, which represents a tremendous security threat not only to Libya but also to the entire region. The American administration, however, has been observing a perplexing silence regarding this particular aspect.

Turkey has been accused by the LNA of supporting militias and extremist Islamist groups since the fall of the late Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. That covert and indirect support in the beginning became full blown and in broad daylight a few months following the launching of the LNA’s military campaign against Tripoli.

With the signing of the security and military cooperation memo of understanding and the maritime border demarcation agreement by Erdogan and the GNA’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, Turkish intervention intensified.

US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland found the Turkish intervention in Libya justified since it came in response to Russia’s intervention, he said. The ambassador’s excuses were seen by many as part of a political and media campaign led by the US Department of State meant to exaggerate Russia’s role in Libya and find justification for America’s support of Islamists and their militias, even though the latter were behind the 2012 assassination in Benghazi of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. That happened before Haftar’s LNA liberated the city and kicked the extremist groups out.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not miss the opportunity to highlight the Russian intervention but chose not to mention Turkish intransigence. “It’s time … for all Libyans and all sides to act so that neither Russia or any other country can interfere in Libya’s sovereignty for its own game,” Pompeo said.

Be that as it may, the US position on the crisis in Libya was and still is confused. During the 2016 election campaign, Trump made a big deal of the situation in Libya and promised to get rid of the militias there, accusing his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who was then secretary of state in the Obama administration, of supporting the chaos in Libya.

Just a few days after the launching of the battle for Tripoli, Trump made a phone call to Haftar, which many considered as a sign of the White House’s backing of the campaign. But then the Islamists regained their composure and dispatched the GNA’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha to Washington, where he met with a number of US officials, especially in the State Department.

Many also believe that the resignation last September of former US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was known for his hostility to the Islamists, must have opened the way for support of the Sarraj government in Tripoli to move freely and impose their views on the US administration.

Posted in USA, Africa, LibyaComments Off on US confused policy on Libya encourages Turkey

Tripoli government seeks to disrupt French-Russian coordination on Libya

GNA’s disinformation campaign focused mainly on Wagner Group mercenaries.

French President Emmanuel Macron talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a video conference Friday, June 26, at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a video conference Friday, June 26, at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP)

TUNIS –In anticipation of the talks focused on the situation in Libya held Friday by Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, the Islamist Tripoli government (GNA) launched a disinformation campaign focused mainly on the mercenaries of the Wagner Group, who had been out of the spotlight in the past days.

The Islamists returned to waiving the card of the Russian mercenaries on Friday, with the Libyan National Oil Corporation joining in the propaganda campaign exaggerating the Russian role in Libya, a campaign instigated by the US State Department in cooperation with Turkey and the Islamists.

The Islamists-controlled National Oil Corporation said that “Russian mercenaries and other ones from other nationalities entered the Sharara oil field on Thursday,” and added that it “categorically rejects any attempts by any foreign countries to prevent the resumption of oil production.”

“A convoy of dozens of military vehicles entered the field on Thursday evening and met with representatives of the guards of the oil facilities,” said the statement. The National Oil Corporation has often attempted to present itself as a neutral party in the conflict despite its obvious bias towards the Islamists’ militias and its rejection of the army’s control of oil terminals and fields.

Through these accusations, the Islamists were trying to send messages to Europe stating that France is coordinating with Russia the two countries’ reactions to  the situation in Libya, despite Russia’s control of the oil terminals and its halting oil exports. But this is in fact a clear attempt to mislead international public opinion and cover up the real reasons behind the cessation of Libyan oil exports. Oil exports were stopped following actions taken by Libyan tribes in protest against the Tripoli government’s use of “Libyan oil revenues” to finance Syrian mercenaries and fight the National Libyan Army.

The oil terminals and oil fields in Libya are under the LNA’s control, and the army enjoys the backing of the local tribes in the south and the eastern region. The oil revenues, however, flow into the treasury of Libya’s Central Bank and the coffers of the Libyan National Oil Corporation which are controlled by the Islamists and a group of opportunists who benefit from the chaos.

Brigadier Ibrahim Beit al-Mal, one of the leaders of the Turkish-backed GNA militia, stated that “several Russian cargo planes have been spotted landing at the Qardabiya air base in Sirte, the last of which arrived on Thursday.”

“Some of these planes were carrying equipment and weapons while the others had fighters on board,” explained Beit al-Mal.

He also stated that “Russian mercenaries are in control of the Qardabiya base, and if the Libyan Air Force did not target the base, it was because of the presence of three air defence systems at the base and its surroundings.”

For months now, the US State Department has been leading a campaign amplifying the Russian role in Libya, while ignoring the Turkish intervention that brought in Syrian fighters, including ISIS and Al-Nusra Front elements.

To date, no evidence has emerged to confirm the US allegations, while there are frequent reports of the presence of some Russian military officers and experts used by the LNA to operate and maintain weapon systems, as most weapons used by the army, including warplanes, are Russian-made. On the other hand, the number of Syrian mercenaries brought in by Ankara and the Islamists has exceeded 10,000 mercenaries, according to Western media reports.

Libyan political circles expect the Macron-Putin summit to result in an agreement to support the Egyptian initiative, which would block the path of any attempts to pressure Cairo in order to discourage it from directly interfering in Libya to deter the threat of having Turkey take control of Sirte.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi confirmed in a speech last Saturday that Egypt’s probable direct intervention in Libya has international legitimacy and has specific goals.

During his inspection tour of Egyptian military units in the western military zone on the border with Libya, Sisi declared that “any direct interference from the Egyptian state has now acquired international legitimacy, whether by virtue of the provision of the right to self-defence of the UN Charter, or based on the decision of the only elected authority in Libya, the Libyan Parliament.”

France and Russia support the Libyan army in its war on terror and against the GNA militias, in order to restore stability to the North African country that has been in total chaos since the toppling of the regime of the late Colonel Muammar Gadhafi.

Sources at the Elysée Palace said on Friday that President Macron “is confident in the ability to make progress” with Russia on several issues, including the Libyan crisis, following his video conference with Putin.

Regarding the Libyan file, the source said France and Russia sharea “common interest in the stability of Libya and the unification of its institutions,” according to him.

The French-Russian rapprochement seems to dash Ankara’s hopes, and behind it those of certain quarters at the US Department of State, to reach understandings with Moscow in Libya that would result in ending Russia’s support of the LNA and pave the way for Turkey and the United States to gain control of Sirte.

Posted in France, Libya, Russia, TurkeyComments Off on Tripoli government seeks to disrupt French-Russian coordination on Libya

France leads European-Arab drive to counter Turkey’s ambitions in Libya

Paris saw Ankara’s strategy as clashing with France’s interests in Libya and its vision for the whole region.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the press,  June 30, 2020, in Nouakchott. (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the press, June 30, 2020, in Nouakchott. (AP)

PARIS – A European-Arab coalition led by France to counter Turkey’s ambitions in Libya has begun to take shape, after Ankara’s defiance has reached the point of tampering with regional and European security by sending over to Libya thousands of Syrian mercenaries that include extremists from al-Nusra Front and ISIS, experts say.

Faced with Ankara’s growing aggressive posture in the pursuit of its goal of assuming control of Libya’s resources and taking advantage of its strategic location, France has moved at a feverish pace to thwart Turkish ambitions. Paris saw Ankara’s strategy as clashing with France’s interests in Libya and its vision for the whole region.

France was the first European country to criticise Turkey for sending mercenaries and weapons to Libya and to voice its total solidarity with Cyprus and Greece’s rejection of the agreement on maritime border demarcation signed last November between Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).The row escalated despite the GNA’s attempt to bribe Paris by granting French energy giant Total gas exploration contracts in Libya’s disputed areas.

France has also supported Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in their war on terrorist groups since 2014. On more than one occasion, Paris has fended off attempts to push the European Union to issue a resolution condemning the LNA or its commander.

France was the first to intervene in 2011 to topple the regime of the late Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, even before a UN Security Council resolution was adopted allowing military intervention in Libya. Observers attributed France’s eagerness to intervene to its desire to get rid of a regime that had been rivalling its influence in Africa and impeding its interests in Libya, especially after the Qaddafi regime reneged on a gas exploration deal with Paris in the Nalut Basin.

More recently, France was among the first European countries to welcome the Cairo initiative aimed at solving the Libyan crisis by providing for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the political process. Turkey and the Islamists,  as presented by the GNA, rejected the initiative with the apparent backing of the US Department of State.

The new French position has the support of several Arab countries, notably the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and –to a large extent– the Tunisian presidency.

A file picture of Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash. (Reuters)
A file picture of Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash. (Reuters)

The strongest expression of Arab support for the French position against Turkish interference in Libya came in an opinion piece published in the French newspaper Le Point by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, who praised the actions of French President Emmanuel Macron in this regard.

“French President Emmanuel Macron was the first European leader to explicitly refer to this reality and this danger by urging the European Union and NATO to stand up to Turkey in both Libya and Syria, thereby placing France as a strategically leading country for Europe regarding Turkey and security in the Mediterranean, and joining the voice of the Arab majority,” Gargash wrote.

“Late last year, Erdogan took advantage of the divisions within the Libyan National Accord government to enact bilateral agreements that he then used to justify extensive resource expropriations in the Mediterranean, provide advanced weapons and transport thousands of Syrian mercenaries to western Libya. As in other similar circumstances, the UAE has stood with France and other allies to address these threats,” he added.

Before that and during his recent visit to Paris, Tunisian President Kais Saeid emphasised the necessity of implementing a ceasefire in Libya and holding elections that would renew legitimacy for the authorities there, describing the GNA’s “international legitimacy as only temporary.”

The coming out of France as a clear-committed party in the Libyan conflict is likely to break the silence over Washington’s disagreement with Paris over Libya as the US State Department, in cooperation with Turkey, is trying to portray the Libyan crisis as a conflict between the West and Russia. According to experts, highlighting Russia’s presence in Libya is part of scare tactics used by Turkey and the Islamists in Tripoli to provoke reactions from the United States and the West that would ultimately hand control of the whole country to the Islamists.

Observers believe that the odds of Turkey failing in its Libya offensive are likely to improve tremendously as a country like France spearheads the counterattack. Paris is already moving to mobilise European support for the battle, as reflected by Macron’s recent visit to Germany, on the eve of Berlin assuming the presidency of the European Union.

Curtailing Turkish designs, observers say, will benefit from role played by a country like France capable of harnessing a more effective European position, and of preventing the US from acting alone to try to shape the future of Libya without consulting and coordinating with France, a country larger than Greece and Egypt.

The Sixth Summit of the Heads of State of the five African Sahel group, held Tuesday in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, is seen as a prelude to a broad French move to expand the circle of pressure to stop the Turkish expansion that is now threatening most of Libya’s neighbours.

Observers believe that the timing of the summit in these exceptional circumstances includes clear political messages that France wanted to send from Mauritania within the framework of the pressures it is exerting in order to reduce the area of Turkey’s encroachment in Libya and encircle its repercussions, especially that it coincided with an escalation in Macron’s statements against the entire Turkish project in Libya.

Posted in France, Libya, TurkeyComments Off on France leads European-Arab drive to counter Turkey’s ambitions in Libya

Libya: Needs new ballot box legitimacy

Tebboune echoes Tunisian, Egyptian calls for elections in Libya.

A file picture of Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune. (AFP)

A file picture of Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune. (AFP)

TUNIS – Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune said on Saturday that Libyan rivals must organise elections through transitional authorities as a political solution to the ongoing conflict.

Tebboune’s statement implicitly reinforces an emerging regional consensus about the expired legitimacy of Tripoli’s Government of National Accord (GNA), a feeling that also seems to be shared by Paris.

Speaking to France 24, Tebboune said that “we need to consult with the Libyan people through its institutions,” including tribal authorities and others, and hold elections.

“The current government is one of these institutions, but things have bypassed it. We need institutions that represent all Libyans. The country also needs to hold elections and elect a president and vice president, putting into consideration a balance between all Libyan regions and the adoption of a new constitution,” Tebboune said.

The Algerian head of state added he was ready to arrange a dialogue between the different Libyan parties should they request it.

He explained that, while talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the Berlin Libyan Conference earlier this year, he promised not to take “any personal initiative.”

Algeria, which has relations with all Libyan parties and contacts them regularly, “stands at the same distance from all Libyan parties,” Tebboune said, adding that Algerians “will not back (one) party against the other.”

“We still have not lost hope” of settling the conflict, he argued.

“We have close visions on Libya with [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron and our Italian friends. Other actors understand that fighting back and forth between armies is not the solution,” he said.

“Who loses today wins tomorrow, and so on, but this is not the solution and it will not offer anything. To take a group of people that includes five from here and five from there is not also a solution.”

Tebboune warned that Libya might fall into the trap of the “Syrian model” and said that he spoke with the French president on this issue.

He noted that, four months ago in Berlin, he said that “we can count on the basis of popular legitimacy to rebuild the state [Libya]” if no ceasefire were to be reached.

He described the “Syrian model” in Libya” as a “danger,” praising the Libyan tribes for “being wise.”

“The same approaches that we saw in Syria are not seen in Libya. Unlike what many people might think, mercenaries and others were those who committed violations. But if the tribes are fed up, they will start arming and protecting themselves,” he warned.

In that case, Tebboune said, Libya’s civil war would be more comparable to Somalia’s than Syria’s.

“No one would be able to do anything at that point in time,” he warned.

“The country could turn into a haven for terrorists, and everyone, seeking to clean their countries, will send their terrorists to Libya,” he added.

Tebboune’s call for Libya to organise elections echoes a similar call by Tunisian President Kais Saied, who said his country will not accept a divided Libya and described the legitimacy of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) as “temporary.”

“The authorities in Tripoli are based on international legitimacy but this international legitimacy cannot continue. It is a temporary legitimacy and in its place must come a new legitimate government, a legitimate government which is born of the will of the Libyan people. And I will say it from this podium, in Paris, that Tunis will not accept the division of Libya,” Saied said two weeks ago while on a first visit to France.

Saied’s oblique reference to the 2015 Skhirat agreement, which had bestowed temporary legitimacy on the GNA, constituted a nuanced shift in Tunisia’s stance on the conflict between the Turkish-backed government of Fayez al-Sarraj and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).

Based on the Skhirat agreement, the mandate of the Sarraj government should have expired on December 17, 2017, with a possible extension of only one year.

The Cairo initiative, unveiled by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last June, also called for UN-supervised presidential council elections and the drafting of a constitutional declaration to regulate elections at a later stage.

The Libya situation is a critical national security issue for both Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.

Since the overthrow of  longtime Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, instability in the North African country has dominated regional security concerns.

With an expanding power vacuum and the proliferation of weapons, jihadi groups and foreign militants, Libya’s conflict has spelled trouble for next-door Tunisians and Algerians.

The indirect effects of the turmoil in Libya also presented enormous security challenges elsewhere, including the destabilisation of Mali and the Sahel on Algeria’s southern flank.

The Turkey-backed GNA has taken in thousands of Syrian mercenaries to fight against the LNA, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Posted in Africa, LibyaComments Off on Libya: Needs new ballot box legitimacy

Turkish expansionism in Libya leads to Algerian-French rapprochement

Algiers seeking broader international support for mediation efforts.

An Algerian soldier guards the remains of 24 Algerian resistance fighters at the Moufdi-Zakaria culture palace in Algiers, after their repatriation from France, July, 3. (AFP)

An Algerian soldier guards the remains of 24 Algerian resistance fighters at the Moufdi-Zakaria culture palace in Algiers, after their repatriation from France, July, 3. (AFP)

ALGIERS–Frequent contacts between Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron are signalling closer coordination between the two countries about issues in the region, especially those related to the Sahel-Saharan region and Libya.

This comes at a time when the Algerian mediation to find a solution to the Libyan file seems to be in need of broader support in order to bypass the confines of political contention.

The diplomatic and political rapprochement between Algeria and France was boosted by recent phone conversations between Tebboune and Macron. The latest, Thursday, was the third phone conversation during the past six weeks  during which the two presidents discussed their vision for restoring stability in the region and the approach to resolving the crisis in Libya.

The call came as bilateral relations warmed up again after Algeria recovered a first batch of the remains and skulls of Algerian resistance fighters kept till now at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. In an interview with French state-owned TV channel France 24, last week, Tebboune praised what he called “Macron’s integrity and efforts in settling the historical files between his country and Algeria.” He said he and macron “could go a long way”.

A statement by the Algerian presidency said that President Tebboune received a phone call Thursday from President Macron, in which “the two presidents discussed the prevailing situation in the region, especially in Libya and the Sahel,” and that “they agreed to continue coordination and consultation between the two countries as key actors in the region, and to launch a number of initiatives aimed at promoting political solutions to the prevailing crises.”

The statement alluded to signs of convergence in the visions of the two parties on the prevailing situation in the Saharan Sahel and Libya, in a way that overcomes the clash of the past years between the two countries and ushers in a diplomatic partnership and a sharing of interests, especially as Algeria prepares to lift the constitutional ban on its army being involved in operations outside its territorial borders. This will give Algeria more leeway to contribute to managing conflicts, especially in the context of the war on terror.

Observers do not exclude the possibility that the Algerian-French rapprochement could lead to the formulation of an initiative on Libya, with the participation of the international community. Such an initiative would be based on the imperative of a political solution in Libya and the necessity of the exit of all foreign forces. That would mean first of all ending the intervention of the Turkish army supporting the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, which has become a strategic concern for Algeria and France, following Ankara’s proclaimed intention to establish a “new Turkey” in the region by fostering a far-reaching partnership with its Libyan partners.

It seems that Paris’s annoyance at Turkish expansionism in the region and at Ankara’s attempts to undercut France’s influence in Algeria, prompted the Elysée to make some concessions in the largest outstanding files between France and Algeria, starting with the so called file of “Memory and History”. This is likely to pre-empt Turkish endeavours and turn contentious files into opportunities for partnership in diplomacy, as is the case in economics, trade, cooperation, immigration and issues pertaining to the large Algerian community in France.

Algeria expresses real concerns about the Libyan crisis, given the latter’s serious security and military repercussions on stability in the region, especially that Algeria shares with Libya about a thousand kilometres of land borders in rugged desert terrain, in addition to the proximity of the border to strategic interests such as oil and gas fields and the international companies operating there.

The Algerian military quickly appointed General Omar Tlemsani as commander of the Fourth Military Zone of ​​Ouergla in the far southeast of the country, where the land border with Libya lies. Tlemsani is succeeding the late General Hassan Allaimia, who died of health-related causes. The move reflects the importance attached by the Algerian military leadership to troop and logistical readiness in the area in anticipation of any contingency on its borders.

In a statement to local and French media, President Tebboune had warned against “scenarios of turning Libya into a new Syria or Somalia, and into fertile ground for producing terrorist groups, which will be disastrous for security and stability in the region forever.”

At the UN Security Council meeting on Libya, Thursday, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sabri Boukadoum, reiterated his country’s readiness to “play a mediating role,” and stressed that “all Libyan parties have agreed to participate in any Algerian initiative,” in reference to Algeria’s efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis in coordination with the international community.

Boukadoum summarized his country’s initiative in three axes: “An immediate cease-fire, reducing escalation in all areas, including in the energy sector and the distribution of wealth, and helping to bring the Libyan rival parties to the negotiating table.”

Observers said that the Algerian initiative, despite its importance for the two rival parties in the Libyan crisis, cannot by itself achieve any headway in the crisis. This explains the Algerian efforts to create a rapprochement with Russia and France on the crisis so as to give the Algerian initiative wider support.

In June, Tebboune received the representatives of the two main rivals in the Libyan conflict, GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Speaker of the Libyan Parliament Aguila Saleh. The meeting took place following the takeover by GNA forces, with intensive Turkish military support, of western Libya following the withdrawal of Khalifa Hafatar’s Libyan National Army from the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli, and its environs.

Professor Sharif Driss, professor of political science at the School of Journalism in Algiers, described his country’s mission as “difficult”, and stated that “the Algerian approach needs an international framework and designing a solution that would be based on appointing a UN envoy and holding negotiations in a neighbouring country, because the Libyan file has become complicated by the multiplicity of actors in the crisis.”

Posted in Africa, France, LibyaComments Off on Turkish expansionism in Libya leads to Algerian-French rapprochement

RIPPLE EFFECTS: GREECE AND TURKEY OPEN NEW NORTHERN FRONT ON LIBYAN CONFLICT

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Ripple Effects: Greece And Turkey Open New Northern Front On Libyan Conflict

Greece’s navy has declared a state of heightened alert and deployed ships to the Aegean Sea in response to a Turkish vessel conducting seismic surveys for energy exploration purposes close to a disputed maritime area.

On Tuesday the Greek foreign ministry issued a formal protest to Turkey following the announcement that a Turkish drilling ship would conduct explorations in the maritime area south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo in the south eastern Aegean. The foreign ministry also released a statement:

We call on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities, which violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and security in the region.”

Following Turkey’s rejection of the protest, the Greek Navy has sent ships to patrol in the area.

“Navy units have been deployed since yesterday in the south and southeastern Aegean,” a navy source told AFP, declining to give further details.

Athens has stated that Turkish surveys in sections of the Greek continental shelf constitute an escalation of the tension in the region where the two countries dispute the boundary of their respective maritime areas. LINK

Experts cited in media reports have interpreted Turkey’s conduct as designed to test Greece’s determination to defend its interests in the eastern Mediterranean region, and believe that the Turkish leadership’s moves may also be linked to the Libyan conflict. According to this interpretation of the latest developments, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apparently seeks to “test” the reaction of his opponents. LINK

A report in Xinhua suggests that Greece’s response is to draw even closer to Egypt. Greece and Egypt have been holding negotiations over the demarcation of an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean, however the boundaries of the area they are discussing overlaps with the area which was subject to a maritime agreement signed by Turkey and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in Libya late last year (the two parties also signed a military agreement pursuant to which Turkey has sent thousands of fighters and a large amount of weapons and supplies to the Government of National Accord).

Ripple Effects: Greece And Turkey Open New Northern Front On Libyan Conflict

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received a phone call from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday, during which they discussed regional issues, with a focus on the Libyan crisis.

According to the Xinhua report, Sisi expressed Egypt’s opposition to “illegitimate foreign intervention” in Libyan domestic affairs, citing that they would further exacerbate the security conditions in Libya in a way that affects the stability of the entire region, said Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady in a statement.

For his part, the Greek prime minister also voiced rejection of foreign interference in Libya, while highlighting the political course as a key solution for the Libyan issue.

He hailed Egypt’s “sincere efforts” that seek a peaceful settlement to the Libyan crisis, according to the statement.

Over the past few years, the Egyptian-Greek ties have been growing closer, with their growing enmity with Turkey also resulting in them developing a similar position on Libya. The talks between Sisi and Mitsotakis took place just a few days after the Egyptian parliament approved a possible troop deployment in Libya to defend Egypt’s western borders with the war-torn country. LINK

A perceptive analysis of the emerging Turkey-Libya (Tripoli) relations published last month remains just as salient to describe the situation today:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gambled big in Libya and won big – so far. This victory portends important changes in the politics of the Mediterranean, for Turkey has succeeded not only in demonstrating its determination to become the dominant player in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also in showcasing its military prowess and wherewithal. The latter might precipitate a deeper conflict and crisis in the region, extending north toward Greece.

Erdogan threw his support behind the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) against General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which had besieged the GNA’s capital, Tripoli. Haftar suffered a humiliating defeat as Turkish drones, troops, navy vessels and some 10,000 Syrian fighters transported by Ankara to Libya stopped him in his tracks and then forced him to abandon bases and territory. A last-minute call for a ceasefire by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was rejected by the victorious GNA, which has set its aims at capturing other towns, including the critical port city of Sirte.

Indirectly, this was also a defeat for the countries that had backed Haftar: Egypt, the UAE and Russia. The UAE had contributed military equipment and the Russians non-state mercenary forces.

Turkey’s Libya expedition has to be seen from two perspectives. First, the GNA concluded a deal with Ankara that delineated their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in such a way that it divides the Mediterranean Sea into two sections. Turkey’s purpose is to hinder efforts by Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and Greece to export natural gas, either through a pipeline or on LNG vessels, to Europe. Turkey has aggressively interfered with efforts by these to drill for gas. Ankara claims that most of the waters around Cyprus actually belong to Turkey or to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a country recognized only by Turkey.

However, more important than simply preventing Eastern Mediterranean gas exports is the underlying strategy driving this push against Haftar. From the moment he assumed power in 2003, Erdogan has striven to elevate Turkey’s international role to that of a regional, if not global, power. Initially, his strategy was one of “zero problems with neighbors,” which served to emphasize Turkey’s soft power. The primary driver, however, was the desire for Turkey to assume a hegemonic position over the Middle East. This policy foundered and was essentially buried by the Arab Spring.

What has replaced it is a more aggressive and militarized posture that takes the fight to perceived enemies. That could mean anyone and everyone, since Turks tend to see most countries as a threat, even if they are allies. LINK

While Turkey has bet big and won big so far, it appears that the period of relatively easy victories is over and its aggressive moves are going to face more resistance in future. As Turkey continues to shows no sign of moderating its expansionist claims and manoeuvres, the region is now moving irrevocably towards a catastrophic military clash as Turkey and Egypt have drawn incompatible ‘red lines’ in Libya, with the coastal town of Sirte likely to be the detonator (or possibly the Jufra airbase to the south).

An international agreement promoted by the UN in 2014-2015 established an executive body and a legislative body to govern Libya and pave the way for a more permanent arrangement. However, fundamental disagreements between the two quasi-State organizations resulted in a complete split, with the executive arm becoming the ‘UN-backed’ Government of National Accord based in Tripoli and the House of Representatives relocating to Tobruk (thus the legislative arm is also ‘UN-backed’, though this detail is usually omitted from mainstream media reports).

Turkey has allied itself with the Government of National Accord (GNA), Egypt has allied itself with the House of Representatives (and its armed forces, the Libyan National Army – the LNA – headed by Khalifa Haftar). More generally, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia are invariably reported as supporting the LNA, while the GNA is mainly backed by Turkey and Qatar.

Following the drastic changes on the battlefield over the last two months as the GNA swept the LNA from its positions around Tripoli following a failed attempt to capture the Libyan capital, both Turkey and Egypt have committed themselves to positions that are in direct conflict, indicating that a major armed clash is inevitable unless there is a major diplomatic breakthrough or one of the two sides accepts a humiliating backdown.

Specifically, Turkey and the Government of National Accord are demanding that the Libyan National Army (which recently gave Egypt permission to send its armed forces into Libya) withdraw from the two areas (Sirte and Jufra) and have expressed their determination to take the areas by force if necessary. The Libyan National Army and Egypt have stated that any attempt to capture the two areas will result in Egypt entering Libya in force, which would result in a direct confrontation between Turkey and Egypt. While Egypt has the advantage of sharing a long land border with Libya, in the event of a major conflict air and maritime power could be decisive.

Posted in Greece, Libya, TurkeyComments Off on RIPPLE EFFECTS: GREECE AND TURKEY OPEN NEW NORTHERN FRONT ON LIBYAN CONFLICT

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