This from a BBC article:
‘Fierce clashes in Libya killed 24 people on Friday after a paramilitary force led by a former general attacked Islamist militias in Benghazi.
Local media reported that government troops had also joined the attack against the Islamists.
But acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni condemned the operation as “a coup against the revolution”‘.
The article goes on to say that ‘Eyewitnesses told the BBC that an Islamist militia base was attacked by helicopters and warplanes’.
The ‘former General’ is Khalifa Haftar, who spent years living in Virginia in the U.S. (i.e. C.I.A. country), but who returned to Libya in 2011 to aid the ‘rebels’, and who was almost certainly a C.I.A. asset at some point in his career.
Anyway, this guy is now reportedly bombing Benghazi from the air, and assaulting it from the ground – the prospect of which was simply intolerable in March 2011, when it was Gadaffi threatening to do similar.
And it will be interesting to see if the coalition of neo-conservatives, liberal imperialists, ‘humanitarian interventionists’ and pro-war anti-war activists who supported bombing Libya in 2011 to prevent such a thing happening have much to say this time around. My guess is that the silence will be deafening, as usual.
That, or you’ll get the usual string of ‘Teething problems’ / ‘You can’t expect it to become Sweden overnight’ / ‘Are you saying Gadaffi would have been better?’ type arguments that we are still hearing about Iraq over ten years later.
I would say if you are able to mobilize jets and combat helicopters, like Haftar apparently has, then you have pretty big sway within the Libyan armed forces.
That the acting Libyan Prime Minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, has condemned the attack on Benghazi is a strong signal that he’s not really in charge. And it leaves you wondering just who is.
What you can say with a degree of certainty, though, is that 3 years on from NATO’s brutal ‘humanitarian intervention’, the country is still a complete and utter mess.