"We announce to the world that the country can't be a breeding ground or an incubator for terrorism" - Gen. Mokhtar Farnana, spokesman for Gen. Khalifa HiftarBelow are excerpts from articles about Khalifa Hiftar's CIA-inspired coup in Libya. On Sunday, his forces took the parliament by surprise when they attacked it. Analysts say this could lead to a civil war or at least very heavy fighting between Islamist militias who are aligned with the government and forces that oppose them such as Hiftar's small army. The problem since day one after Gaddafi's departure is that there is no power strong enough to contain the chaos and bring security to the country.
General Hiftar is admittedly not a popular political figure and won't run for a leadership position in any new election, unlike General Sisi in Egypt who took decisive action against the Muslim Brotherhood government last summer and backed up his boldness by charming the Egyptian people well enough that he will most likely be voted into office in the next presidential election. Hiftar's actions will only lead to more chaos because he is not the right man to remove the influence of Islamist militias and Jihadist gangs from the centers of power in Libya.
1. An excerpt from, "Khalifa Hiftar: career soldier leading Libyan rebellion" by Chris Stephen, The Guardian, May 19:
A career soldier, Hiftar – grey-haired, hefty and thought to be 64 – supported Muammar Gaddafi in his 1969 coup that overthrew the monarch, King Idris. His reward was command of Libya's abortive invasion of Chad in the 1980s, a chaotic war in which Hiftar was captured and then disowned by Gaddafi.2. An excerpt from, "Abu Dhabi Crown Prince dismayed by failed coup in Libya" Middle East Monitor, February 20:
Embittered, he fled to America, settling in Langley, Virginia, a stone's throw from CIA headquarters. He has denied working with the CIA, but the agency certainly encouraged the main Libyan dissident group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, of which Hiftar was chief of the military wing.
When the Arab Spring revolution exploded in early 2011, Hiftar returned to lead rebel troops, but was obliged to be second-in-command to Abdel Fatah Younis, Gaddafi's former interior minister. Younis was assassinated during the uprising and Hiftar lost favour, vanishing from the political scene after one of his sons was shot and wounded by a militia guarding a Tripoli bank.
In February he resurfaced, giving a televised speech in full uniform denouncing the government as corrupt and calling for its replacement. His call to arms fell flat but won support among army commanders who accused the government of funding Islamist militias at the expense of regular forces.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the UAE paid huge amounts of money to the Libyan coup d'état leader Major General Khalifah Haftar, who in turn paid equally huge amounts to Libyan officers and soldiers to help him carry out the coup, though unsuccessfully.3. Wikipedia:
Preliminary information showed that the UAE planned the coup d'état in Libya with the help of Mohamed Dahlan, the notorious security advisor of An-Nahyan, and a former Palestinian official.
In 2007, Dahlan assisted in a U.S. plan to overthrow the elected Hamas government in Gaza, but the coup failed when Hamas carried out a counter-coup, and routed Fatah forces in Gaza instead.4. An excerpt from, "Libya: CIA's Haftar Giving It Another Try" by 'b' of Moon of Alabama, May 18:
The chaos Obama created in Libya is haunting him. The Republicans will not let go of the issue about Benghazi and will continue to do so up to the midterm elections. Obama can not publicly reveal the real issues, the weapons to Syria program, behind the Benghazi incident that cost an ambassador's life.5. An excerpt from, "Too early to cry 'coup' in Libya" by Michael Pizzi, Al Jazeera America, May 19:
Could it be possible that Obama has decided to somewhat clean up in Libya and to thereby take the wind out of the Republicans Benghazi sail? Could it be that the CIA and the Pentagon are behind the Haftar revolt? If so they better have many more assets available as any chance for success will otherwise be quite low.
Libya may be in the early stages of a military coup attempt echoing events in Egypt last summer, or the violence gripping the streets of its two major cities might simply be an escalation of feuding between rival militias that have run the show since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In either case, this week's violence — some of the worst since the country's 2011 uprising — has prompted speculation Libya could be sliding back into civil war.
Forces loyal to retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar on Sunday stormed Libya’s parliament, declared it dissolved, and then clashed with militias backing the fragile Islamist-led central government, just days after Haftar launched an offensive in the eastern port city of Benghazi.
On Monday, the commander of the Libyan army’s special forces announced he had allied with Haftar, who claims his so-called Libyan National Army is fighting to stamp out extremism and Al-Qaeda-inspired militias in Libya “by the people’s choice.” An air force base in the city of Tobruk followed suit.
The ouster of dictator Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising left the country without strong central security forces, and its newly democratic government — dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Justice and Construction Party — is widely viewed as weak and corrupt. Much of the country is ruled by the writ of militias, some of them aligned with the government and others opposed.
Haftar and his allied militias back the more nationalist political opposition, which accuses the Brotherhood of taking over Libya’s nascent democratic institutions and allowing extremism to infiltrate the country. Paralyzed by the standoff between Islamist and anti-Islamist factions, the elected parliament has failed to deliver on the promise of democracy.