[VOA] As many as 35 Russian mercenaries are reported to have been killed in Libya while they were fighting for Khalifa Haftar, the military general most associated with the rule of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi, who launched an offensive earlier this year on the Libyan capital of Tripoli, home to the country’s internationally-recognized government, according to a Russian media.
THIS WAS supposed to be a rare moment of cautious optimism in Libya. On April 4th António Guterres, the UN’s secretary-general, arrived in Tripoli, the capital, to prepare for a peace conference which, he hoped, would lead to long-delayed elections later this year.
THE INTERNECINE fighting in Libya is often reduced to east versus west: Khalifa Haftar, the warlord who controls the former, against a United Nations-backed government in the latter. But this year’s most important fighting is some 600km south of the capital, Tripoli. Last month General Haftar sent his Libyan National Army (LNA) to pacify Fezzan, a vast expanse of desert plagued by ethnic and tribal feuds
[Al Jazeera] Libyan forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar and ISIL fighters have launched simultaneous attacks against forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), just hours after unidentified fighter jets raided GNA-held areas.
The worst job in the world? WHEN Fayez al-Serraj returned to Libya in March the situation looked unusually hopeful. For two years, rival governments in the east and west of the country had fought over a disputed election.
ISLAMIC STATE (IS) in Libya is a popular target these days. From the east and south, the army of Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s most potent warlord, is moving on the coastal city of Sirte, which is controlled by some 5,000 jihadists. To the west, the UN-backed administration of Fayez al-Serraj has created an anti-IS command centre in Tripoli, the capital.
FIVE years after Western air power helped remove Muammar Qaddafi, the chances of another intervention in Libya are steadily increasing. Islamic State may be retreating in Iraq and under pressure in Syria, but in Libya it is a growing menace.
THREE weeks after Khalifa Haftar, a retired general, declared his own “war on terrorism” against Libya’s Islamists, he plainly has a long way to go. Although a clutch of disgruntled army and police officers, politicians and tribal militiamen have rallied to him, many other Libyans are still wary. They worry about his alleged ties to the CIA, and they fear his ruthlessness.