Ameer's Q&A

The Dimensions of Haftar’s Campaign in the Libyan South

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Question: Why is Haftar, the American agent in Libya, deploying his forces in the vast Libyan south and is not concentrating his efforts against the pro-European Libyan west and take over the whole of Libya for his advantage? The influence and weight are in the north and west and east, not in the south, or are there other targets for his campaign in the south?

Answer: We review the following to clarify the answer:

First: After the American agent’s, Haftar, takeover of Benghazi, he became in control of the Libyan east, and by resolving the conflict in his favour in the city of Dernah in mid-2018, Haftar tightened his grip on eastern Libya completely. By the transfer of battles to the Oil Crescent area, he has increased the heat of the conflict in Libya between America’s agents, led by Haftar and the European agents led by Al-Sarraj in Tripoli. By being able to extend control of the Oil Crescent, his military power has now prevailed over the government of Al-Sarraj.

But his military strength, supported by the American agent, Sisi, is not entirely decisive to enable him from taking over west Libya, where the European countries themselves are pushing him away from, as well as from near the pro-European region in Algeria. This fear of Algeria and its interference is apparent in Haftar’s statements: “Libyan Foreign Minister Tahir Saila renounced on Monday the “irresponsible statements” by General Khalifa Haftar, in which he threatened to “transfer the Libyan war to Algeria in seconds…” Haftar announced earlier that Algeria is “exploiting the security situation in Libya” and that “Algerian soldiers have crossed the Libyan border.” (France 24, 10/9/2018).

Second, this reality is because of the support of Egypt’s Sisi and behind him America for Haftar, which helped him control the east of Libya and the Oil Crescent area. The corresponding reality is represented by the government of Al-Sarraj and Algeria’s readiness to defend it due to geographical proximity, and the Europeans who stand behind it. This reality and the opposite reality created a kind of draw, though the military upper hand is leaning towards Haftar because of the great American support that fits with its vision of a solution in Libya; that is, the opening of negotiations after the status of the Haftar became decisive or semi-decisive. But from the angle of the political center, the scale is still tilted in favour of Al-Sarraj. The European influence guarantees for him the control of Tripoli, the capital, and the weight of the political center of Europe. Thus, Haftar cannot progress and take the capital and cannot open serious negotiations with the government of Al-Sarraj to appear as equal parties.

These two predicaments to the two sides of the conflict in Libya have created a state of stalemate that neither side has been able to resolve. Therefore, the move to southern Libya was a way out for Haftar so that he could increase his military control and then the problem would be resolved with a stronger American influence than that of Europe. And this is what happened: “General Khalifa Haftar’s forces launched a large-scale military operation in the south of the country on Wednesday to “cleanse” it of armed groups, including elements of the extremist ISIS, and criminal gangs, according to the spokesman for the Libyan National Army.” (France 24, 17/1/2019). Under the headlines “terrorism and criminal gangs”, America is pushing its agent Haftar to the south of Libya to achieve many domestic and regional purposes to strengthen its influence and reduce the influence of European countries.

Thirdly, after scrutiny, it is revealed that Haftar’s campaign on the south of Libya has achieved to him and the American influence two goals in terms of the conflict inside Libya, and America also achieved two other goals against Europe and against its influence in Africa, and the detail is as follows:

1- The objectives at the level of conflict within Libya are:

a- Control of a large area, and if Haftar managed to extend his military control over these vast areas in southern Libya, this would give him the upper hand in the negotiations as well. In addition to the internal military importance of controlling cities, such as Sabha and other southern towns, it will give him more “legitimacy” as the party holding the largest part of the Libyan territory, and the effects of political solutions, although being close to the Algerian border to the south is a threat to him, but he may aspire to consolidate that while Algeria is preoccupied with the presidential elections.

b- Control of the Libyan economy; after going back and forth, the forces of Haftar tightened its grip on the Oil Crescent in mid-2018, and transferred its revenues to the branch of the National Oil Corporation in Benghazi instead of Tripoli, thus deprived the Sarraj government of the Oil Crescent oil on the one hand, and Haftar was preparing to export it to his advantage on the other hand. The battle then moved to the oil ports to prevent Haftar exporting it. The Al-Jidran militias controlled the Sidra and Ras Lanuf ports, and the Sarraj government in Tripoli considered Al-Jiidran a legitimate authority for the oil installations guard. But this was not confirmed to the government of Sarraj. “Then violent clashes broke out with the Libyan Armed Forces and later the General Command of the Libyan armed forces announced on June 21st the total control of the Ras Lanuf and Sidra area.” (Russian Sputnik, 7/7/2018).

Haftar controlled the Oil Crescent including export ports. Since that date, the efforts of the Accord government headed by Al-Sarraj have been and continue to focus on preventing countries from importing Libyan oil from the Haftar forces Oil Crescent-controlled area. The export power of Libya has decreased significantly. The Sarraj government has been exporting oil extracted from the Marzouk Desert, especially the fields of Ash-Sharara; 300 thousand barrels per day, and El-Feel 125 thousand barrels … With the transfer of milder battles to the south, and control of the forces of Haftar over the oil field near the city of Sabha. “A spokesman for the Forces of Eastern Libya said on Monday on Twitter: “the Armed forces completed full control of Ash-Sharara field with its main facilities peacefully without any clashes and is now securing it in coordination with the Administration of the field””(Al-Youm As-Sabi’ 11/2/2019)

This adds to the economic influence of Haftar. This large oil field, which could have produced 400,000 barrels per day and is owned by a Spanish company, is the subject of a major conflict between the American agent Haftar and the European agents in Tripoli. And with this development, i.e. Haftar’s control, which allows him to easily control the fields behind him, to the far south, especially El-Feel field, the Sarraj government would have lost its economic artery and relied on the international umbrella of Europe to prevent Haftar from exporting the oil and to force him to export it through the Tripoli oil institutions. However, he controls the sources and leaves the issue of export through ports and pipelines which he does not control to negotiations, through which he achieves his financial purposes so that he can inject money into the arteries of his military forces.

2- The two objectives against Europe and against its influence in Africa are:

a- Keeping the migration from Africa a headache for Europe … This is an American goal against Europe; preventing it from the establishment of military bases in Libya on the pretext of stopping African migration to Europe. The control of the American agent, Haftar, of the military installations in the deepest of Libya , most of which are airports and runways that he prevents European countries from using, either for their influence in Libya or for regional targets in Africa. Using the pretext of stopping African migration to Europe, the European countries are building a foothold in those facilities, which is rejected by America and its agent Haftar. “Retired Libyan General Khalifa Haftar warned of the efforts of international parties to establish a military presence in some areas in south of Libya. He said at a time when the General Directorate is keen to establish warm relations and strategic partnerships parallel to all international parties, there is information about the desire of some international parties to establish a military presence in southern Libya … Libyan sources reported that an Italian security and military delegation visited the city of Gatt” (in the far South West of Libya) “on Thursday, with the aim of establishing an Italian military and civilian outpost, with European funding, to control illegal immigration.” (Al-Jazeera Net 29/6/2018.

By Haftar’s control over the important areas in the south, he deprives the Europeans from the concentration and construction of military bases south of Libya. “The air operations room of the General Command of the Libyan army announced the prohibition of landing and taking off to and from the airports and the southern area only after its approval, warning of any aircraft landing in the area of the region, if it flies without a permit from the Libyan army leadership.” (Al-Youm As-Sabi’ 8/2/2019). Thus, America by pushing Haftar to the south would have restricted the Europeans from moving in southern Libya, and the problem of African migrants is kept as the stick that gives a headache to Europe.

b- Action against European influence in the Sahara region, the objectives of the Haftar campaign in the Libyan south are not limited to achieving the above objectives. America is planning, and is directly implementing, a regional objective to destabilize French influence in the Sahara region. The vacuum in southern Libya has created an environment conducive to the armed activity of African opposition groups in southern Libya. The Chadian, Nigerian and Sudanese opposition groups have grown and even become an element of the internal power equation in Libya, which is a considerable and not underestimated force.

“The Chadian newspaper, Unity in French stated on Wednesday that about 11,000 Chadian opposition elements are currently deployed in the south of Libya.”(Bawabat Al-Wasat 4/4/2018). And in the presence of the pretext of “terrorism”, which is used for America’s interventions, and to direct its agents to ride its wave, America is moving publicly to intervene in Libya. “A Libyan official said that US and Libyan forces carried out a joint raid on a central location with a number of al-Qaeda supporters on the outskirts of the city of Aubarey on Wednesday.” (EURO News Arabic 14/01/2019). The US pretext of terrorism is the same one used by Haftar “to clear the area of terrorist and armed groups.”

The military forces in southern Libya are the Chadian movements. “The Libyan National Army led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar last January launched a military campaign in the southwest of the country against the largest armed groups of the Chadian opposition.”(RT 12/2/2019) The Libyan National Army said in a brief statement announced by Haftar, that “Libyan Arab air force fighter jets took turns on bombing three gatherings of the Chadian gangs and their allies in our beloved South”” (Arabiya Net 8/2/2019)

c- It is clear from this that the Haftar campaign in southern Libya is carrying out an expulsion operation of these groups from Libya, that is to push them abroad to have another mission in Chad, which is to create unrest in the French influence, which happened immediately and without delay. “French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday, French troops have bombed a rebel convoy in Chad to prevent a coup d’état against President Idriss Deby, and in response to President Idriss Deby, French military planes bombed an armed rebel convey crossed last week from Libya and penetrated into Chadian territory. Le Drian told parliamentarians: “A rebel group from southern Libya launched an attack … to seize power by force in N’Djamena, President Deby asked us in writing to intervene to prevent a coup and protect his country.” (Reuters 12/2/2019) Because of the dangers America’s agent, Haftar, is bringing on Chad are real, France is deploying a large force in the Chadian capital to defend its agent Idriss Deby. “France is deploying 4,500 troops in the Chadian capital N’Djamena as part of a process known as the Burgan counter-terrorism force.” (Previous source)

d- With all this, it turns out that America and its intervention in Libya, and despite the inability of its agent to resolve the situation in the areas of western Libya for its favour because of the European support for the Sarraj government, it (America) has moved to destabilize the French influence in Chad, and the progress of opponents of Idriss Deby within Chadian territory from southern Libya can be an introduction to what is coming: the fighting in Chad, and perhaps after that, the Niger against French influence, and against the dominance of French companies, especially on the uranium mines in that region.

Fourth: In conclusion, Haftar with the great military support provided to him by America, especially through Egypt, has managed to divide Libya into two parts. He completely controlled the eastern part, and controlled the Oil Crescent, the heart of Libya’s economy, and managed to penetrate the western part. America is directing him south to further his military and economic control. Therefore, he is in a stalemate and cannot penetrate western Libya, because of the fear of Algeria and the great European support for the Sarraj government.

America is pushing Haftar to achieve its other objectives, which increase the burden of European countries on the issue of immigration, and attack from another angle the French influence in neighboring countries starting with Chad.

These are the dimensions of the Haftar campaign on the south of Libya, and it is clear that the Kufr countries are meddling in Libya for the sake of their interests and influence, and Muslims are the fighting parties, without any care for Allah’s sanctity in the killing of their brothers and wasting their country’s oil. The agents and behind them the Kufrcountries will not be eliminated, nor the evil they spread in the land of Islam unless Muslims rise decisively and seriously, and establish the law of Allah and declare their Khilafah (Caliphate) that will restore things to where they belong, and make the hopes of the Kuffar in the Islamic countries nightmares for them.

(إِنَّ فِي هَذَا لَبَلَاغاً لِقَوْمٍ عَابِدِينَ)

“Indeed, in this [Qur’an] is notification for a worshipping people” [Al-Anbiya: 106]

15 Jumada II 1440 AH
20/2/2019 CE