UN-Backed Government in Libya Collaborating With Al-Qaeda, Says Pro-Russian Commander
Déjà vu all over again
We're seeing a small "pattern" in the Middle East and North Africa.
For the West, the presence of Al-Qaeda (real or imagined) is always a perfectly good excuse to launch a bombing campaign and impose regime change.
But sometimes Al-Qaeda and its terrorism is very useful; sometimes it's even moderate.
We saw (and still see) this in Syria. Apparently a similar "understanding" has been made in Libya — and the pro-Russian commander Khalifa Haftar doesn't like it very much:
Ahmed Al-Mismari, the spokesperson of Haftar’s forces, claimed that some members of the UN-backed Presidency Council and High Council of State held secret meetings with leaders of Al-Qaeda to mastermind the attack on the oil crescent region by Benghazi Defense Brigades, according to Libya Observer.
In an extraordinary press conference, Al-Mismari said the meetings were held in Tripoli and Misrata and attended by President of High Council of State Abdul-Rahman Al-Swaihli, some members from the Presidency Council and some leaders of Al-Qaeda.
He said, “This is a coalition of all terrorist groups in western Libya against the Libyan National Army in the east.” He also noted that their aim is political opportunism.
Al-Mismari also claimed that Al-Qaeda are competing for the control of Tripoli and oil ports to have more influence on the ground.
Moreover, Al-Mismari has previously accused Qatar and Turkey of supplying advanced military equipment to Benghazi Defense Brigades ahead of their military operation in oil ports.
As we reported yesterday, Khalifa Haftar recaptured two key oil ports, Sidra and Ras Lanuf, from the "Islamist militias" (fanatics affiliated with al-Qaeda) that seized them earlier this month.
Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), has previously asked Moscow for weapons and equipment, and had a January meeting with the Russians aboard their aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, en route back to Syria.
No wonder Moscow likes this guy. He doesn't collaborate with terrorists — so he wouldn't be an appropriate "strongman" for Washington.