Trump Officials Snub Strongman Haftar: US Shifts Course On Libya – OpEd


Trump officials have snubbed strongman Khalifa Haftar as the US shifts course on Libya. Less than two months after Trump appeared to show support for Haftar in a surprise phone call, the US is now rethinking its policy towards the country’s civil war, according to multiple sources in the US and the region.

For now, US officials insist that Trump’s phone call to Haftar was a personal favour to the Egyptian president, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, who was visiting Washington a few days earlier, and did not signify a shift in US policy, because al-Sisi support Haftar.

With Haftar’s offensive stalled on the outskirts of Tripoli, and the lead on Libya policy has been handed back to the state department. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has been consulting Libya experts in the past two weeks, and is considering a range of options, including a US-enforced ceasefire.

A call to encouraged on15 April, Haftar want to get visit by the field marshal to Libyan National Army (LNA) hired lobbyists in Washington

Marshal is a dual Libyan-US national, or one of his top aides, to reinforce the impression that he had US backing in his offensive against the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

Jonathan Winer a former US envoy on Libya said “State and defense were not aware of the Trump call, let alone supported it.”

Ahmed Maiteeg, the deputy prime minister of the Tripoli government, mention to NBC News on Thursday that,” Trump-Haftar call was confusing, “we see the US government as our main ally”.

There are two roads in Libya

Libya has two roads the first one Qatar and Turkey have lined up behind Sarraj but Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have all taken a stake in Haftar.

Haftar think on that time that US will support him, he thought to have been a potential game-changer in diplomatic moves that are so far yet to take shape. On the other hand, France has voiced support for Haftar’s military efforts against jihadist groups in Libya, but they didn’t support him in Tripoli offensive, in addition, Haftar’s fighting with all force to control Tripoli.

The House foreign affairs committee has called for the justice department and FBI to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by Haftar and the LNA. But Haftar’s said he should kill ISIS and extricate the country from foreign military entanglements.

According to that he made on Thursday conducted an air strike for a second night on the military section of the only functioning airport of the Libyan capital. Civilian air traffic from Tripoli’s Mitiga airport has continued despite the war, they attacked the military part of the airport, targeting a “Turkish plane,”

Where is Sarraj?

The crisis escalated between Haftar and Sarraj, Haftar’s forces remain a potent threat to Fayez al-Sarraj every one want the power which each lay claim to ruling the country , they attempts to strike a ceasefire between both sides, , have so far failed, and regional powers backing Haftar and Sarraj appear more intransigent than ever.

Sarraj, who heads the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, will start a series of meetings with the leaders of Italy, Germany, France and possibly Britain.

Sarraj’s government will meet President Emmanuel Macron comes after the GNA repeatedly accused Paris of politically backing the assault which Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) launched on Tripoli on April 4.

We must ask ourselves after the escalation of the crises every day who will continue in power Sarraj or Haftar or is there a third person directed by the US government who will appear to rise to power.

*Miral Sabry Al Ashry, Associate Professor at Future University (FUE), Political Mass Media Department

Prof. Miral Sabry AlAshry

Prof. Miral Sabry AlAshry is Co-lead for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the Centre for Freedom of the Media, the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield.

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