By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
The crisis in war-torn Libya is getting bloodier by the day as the two sides to the civil war – entrenched in the western and eastern parts respectively – battle each other for the domination of the whole country, despite the peace pact to which they had agreed earlier this month in Berlin, the capital of Germany.
On one side is the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez as-Sarraj, supported by the U.N. and most of the free world, while on the other side are the militia’s led by General Khalifa Hafter, who is backed by Egypt, and is considered a CIA agent.
Prime Minister Sarraj, who is now being backed openly by Libya’s former colonial masters, Turkey and Italy, has decried Hafter’s backing by the UAE, France, Russia, and the U.S.
Recently, the Turkish parliament, perhaps recalling the bygone days when the Mediterranean Sea was an Ottoman Lake, and almost the whole of North Africa was under the control of Istanbul, approved the deployment of military forces to Libya.
This has alarmed Egypt, which used to be the granary of the Ottoman Empire, and in response General Abdel-Fattah as-Sisi, who likes to call himself ‘president’ has ordered his forces to be on high alert on the borders of Libya.
For the past few days, Cairo has held air maneuvers near the Libyan border, perhaps to scare away Ankara, but President Rajab Tayyed Erdoghan, seems adamant of his backing of the government in Tripoli.
Oil rich Libya has not known peace since 2011 when the U.S. and Europe with auxiliary support from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, militarily interfered to kill its leader Mu’ammar Qadhafi, in a bid to change the whole political order that they themselves had devised in 1969 to overthrow King Idris who was on a state visit to Turkey, through a military coup.
For over four decades western imperialism played a cat-and-mouse-game with Qadhafi, while stealing billions of dollars of Libyan crude which is highly priced on the international market for its quality, before deciding to first humiliate him and then kill him in a most brutal manner, in violation of the sovereignty of a United Nations member state.
The West hates to see Libya progress and this is the reason for keeping it constantly on the front burner, oblivious of the misery of its Muslim people.
Hafter, a renegade military commander who used to live in the U.S. before entering Libya after the overthrow of Qadhafi, ruthlessly presses on with his siege of Tripoli and killing of civilians, and now he is moving his forces towards Misrata, thereby further eroding a crumbling ceasefire agreement brokered earlier this month.
Misrata is Libya’s second largest city and home to militias who oppose Hafter and have been extremely important in Sarraj’s defense of the capital Tripoli.
The tactics is to force them to leave Tripoli and come to the defence of their hometown, so that Hafter’s forces who have laid siege to Tripoli since last April, could overcome its defences, and seize the Libyan capital.
Whatever the outcome, the country and its people will be losers, with their lives ruined and their economy in tatters. Hopefully saner minds will prevail to end the conflict and grant new life to Libya.