Is this the final showdown for control of Libyan oil?

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LNA announces no-fly zone for combat aircraft amid advance on Tripoli

… from Sputnik News, Moscow

[ Editor’s Note: We have seen many final battles of the Libyan Civil War, and yet, it continues on. There is more then a hint of foreign involvement, as the Libyan people would have exhausted themselves into a settlement before now.

Welcome to Neocolonialism in the 21st century. Tripoli appears to be up for grabs with General Haftar’s three pronged advance on the capital, but no major fighting along fixed lines has begun.

Will the Tripoli Government of National Accord (GNA) military forces make a last stand to hold onto the city? Despite the UN having backed the GNA, does the UN have the power to stop Haftar’s advance, by threatening oil export sanctions when prices are already spiking?

It is anyone’s guess at this point, and you will not see me betting even a dollar on how all this will play out. Libya is nothing if not unpredictable. But for the Libyan people, I hope their political suffering is over soonJim W. Dean ]

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Gaddafi is gone, but the Libyan people still have only chaos

– First published … April 06, 2019


According to Al Jazeera, aircraft from the Government of National Accord (GNA) have conducted an airstrike against troops from the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, 80 kilometres south of Tripoli.

The broadcaster reported that the airstrike was conducted in the city of Gharyan, earlier seized by the LNA without any clashes. Following the reports, the LNA announced the establishment of a no-fly zone over the western part of the country.

“The Libyan Army declares the western region of the country to be a zone of military operations and is imposing a ban on flights of combat aviation in this area”, the LNA statement, cited by Al Arabiya, said. “We will strike any airports in the west from which combat aircraft carry out their missions”.

The military also said that their units have gained full control over Tripoli International Airport, located 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the Libyan capital, which has not been in operation since 2014 as its infrastructure was significantly damaged.

“In an unprecedented historical event for the residents of Libya, the [LNA] has just established control over the whole Tripoli International Airport”, the press service of LNA said in a statement, seen by Sputnik.

READ MORE: Pro-Haftar Forces Regain Control Over Checkpoint West of Tripoli — Source

A source in the LNA previously told Sputnik that the forces had already captured several settlements and key positions to the west, south, and southwest of Tripoli, including Gharyan, Al-Swani, Janzur, and a checkpoint, located in the Wershiffana area.

The LNA offensive began on Thursday, with Haftar stating he aimed at “liberating Tripoli from terrorists”.

The conflict between the factions continues to escalate, despite the talks that Haftar and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj, who heads the UN-supported GNA, held in February. During the negotiations, both sides agreed to unite state institutions and hold general elections in the country by the end of the year.

 

As a result of a years-long series of conflicts that erupted following a rebellion and murder of the ex-head of state Muammar Gaddafi, there has been no single central government in Libya.

The Tobruk-based parliament, elected in 2014 and backed by the LNA, governs the east of Libya, while the GNA, established in 2015, controls Libya’s western parts from Tripoli.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Cindy, We are going to have to watch this play out. As for Haftar, click on the Wikileak’s link in the article and ask why his background has not come out before. This is nothing unusual. It is business as usual. There is a country that always wants to control other countries, supposedly to make itself more secure. Everyone will have to make their own judgement on that, and a lot of other things. Thanks

  2. Hi Jim. Could VT publish an article about the 2 sides leaders here and their backgrounds and who are they loyal too? Because I would have thought that General Hafter was a good guy wanting to take back Libya from foreign control but you have another article called “As American Citizen and CIA Employee “General Haftar” Takes the Tripoli Airport”. So this leaves one confused because if he is CIA and the GNA leader is a UN puppet then that kinda means foreign interests vs foreign interests doesn’t it? A clarification on this would surely help my confusion. Thanks in advance.

    • Who is Khalifa Haftar and why have we learned so much about him just now? The 75-year-old field marshal began his career at the military academy in Benghazi, where he met the future leader of the country, Muammar Gaddafi. They became associates. Haftar took an active part in the coup d’état, which led his colleague to power. For a long time Haftar was the right hand of the colonel. In particular, in 1987, Libyan troops fought in Chad under the command of a future field marshal. It was this conflict that became the bone of contention between old friends. Units of Haftar were defeated, thousands of Libyan soldiers were killed, and the commander together with the headquarters was taken prisoner. What did Colonel Gaddafi do? He actually betrayed his old friend, publicly rejecting him. After such a turn, Haftar called the colonel a personal enemy and in 1988 he sided with the National Salvation Front, which at that time was based in Chad. After his release from prison, Haftar barely managed to carry off his legs – Gaddafi organized a coup in Chad, as a result of which all functionaries of the front of salvation were hit. For several years, the future field marshal had to travel around Africa. In the early 1990s, he was in the United States. Evil tongues claim that this was not without the help of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Haftar returned to his homeland only at the beginning of the famous Libyan war in 2011, when an uprising condemned the Gaddafi regime to a slow death.

    • Everyone understands that Tripoli is still far from falling, and the influence of the field marshal can fade away within literally several days. At the same time, Haftar almost openly asks for help from Russia, offering in return at least the deployment of military bases on the territory of the new Libya. But his ambiguous biography – the biography of a man who managed to serve many masters, obviously keeps the Russian Federation from decisive steps.

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